How does Behavioural Optometry & Vision Therapy work?

Our eyes need to be able to work accurately together as well as focus and move correctly. For this to happen, multiple muscles need to work together, 4 for focus and 12 for movement. 3 cranial nerves are involved in the instruction of these muscles.  Any imbalance among them can cause stress to the visual system resulting in symptoms such as intermittent blurring or double vision, shadowing of print, text appearing to move or letters running together.


The efficiency/accuracy of the eyes working together as a team can only partly be assessed within an NHS sight test. A person may be able to not show signs of visual stress during a short eye test. Behavioural Optometry is the sub speciality in the profession that has emerged to address this.


As a Behavioural Optometrist, I will conduct a detailed investigation of all the crucial areas of vision for learning. This includes looking at efficient eye movement and focussing control as well as the way the brain interprets what is being seen and how it connects that to body action and movement. This can affect hand-eye coordination (handwriting/catching a ball), judging distances and navigating space so as not to bump into things or clumsiness.


Any deficient skills found will be developed with an individualised training programme and possibly use of glasses. This will vastly improve the visual system and have a positive effect not only on learning but also on self-confidence and overall happiness.

What I offer:


A full Behavioural vision assessment takes 90-120 minutes and looks in depth at the following points:

  • Careful assessment for glasses prescription
  • Eye Teaming – convergence/depth perception
  • Eye Focusing – accommodation
  • Eye Movements – saccades & pursuits
  • Peripheral and Spatial awareness
  • Reading ability and comprehension
  • Retained Primitive Reflexes (can significantly impact eye movement and ability to concentrate)
  • Laterality (ability to know right from left which often is poor when children show letter/number reversals)
  • Use of coloured filters if indicated


After the assessment I will discuss the best ways of treatment for the issues found. Most commonly this will involve vision therapy.



Your committment needed: 


If Vision Therapy is indicated fortnightly one to one sessions are recommended. Best results are achieved with an additional daily practice of approximately 15 minutes of home based exercises.


A course of Vision Therapy usually takes between 12-24 sessions to rectify the deficient areas in the visual system. However, first benefits will be felt after the initial few sessions already.