Our Ermington Behavioural Optometrists Help Everyone Reach Their Potential
Our professional staff focus on an extended form of optometry that aims at helping people get the most out of their entire visual system. It specialises in finding and fixing vision related problems ranging from eye strain and headaches to learning problems and brain injury rehabilitation.
What is a Behavioural Optometrist?
Once they have finished their optometry degree, a behavioural optometrist spends years in ongoing, post-graduate study and continuing education. This is to learn to prevent, reduce and eliminate visual and visual perceptual problems and improve visual efficiency and comfort. Not all optometrists practice behavioural optometry. Like Brenda Milner, many of these type of clinics have a particular interest in children’s vision and learning problems.
What does we do?
If you’re located in North or West Ryde, or even Parramatta or Ermington, our visual therapy consultants conduct in-depth examinations of visual abilities. These include everything that standard optometrists do and more. They look at visual skills, efficiency, and visual processing as well as the effects of visual stress. They also use training, lenses and prisms to improve skills so that the eyes can work efficiently and without stress, and where necessary, improve information processing skills.
What can our visual therapy help with?
- Eyes under stress – strained, tired, itchy, burning, headaches, migraine
- Computer eye strain
- Assessing children of all ages, including school readiness
- Children reading and learning below their potential
- Poor eye-hand coordination, as in handwriting, copying and ball sports
- Poor concentration at close tasks
- Sports with high visual demands
- Recovery from traumatic brain injury
- People with special needs, such as physical, behavioural or intellectual disabilities who often have visual problems and spatial awareness difficulties
How can the behavioural optometrist help?
Our expert technician will firstly perform a thorough eye examination, including:
- Health and sight: Are the eyes healthy? Can they see clearly?
- Function and efficiency: Do the eyes have the visual skills to see comfortably for as long as they need to without effort and without interfering with the performance of other skills?
- Visual perception (when applicable): Do we have the skills to interpret and understand what we are seeing in a way that it makes sense?
- Integration: Do our visual skills and information work together with input from our other senses and our bodies?
Conveniently accessible for those in West and North Ryde, as well as Parramatta, our behavioural optometrist in Ermington may recommend glasses to correct vision or relieve stress. Sometimes stress relieving glasses are prescribed as a temporary measure until the eyes can cope by themselves. The optometrist may also recommend visual therapy to build up visual and perceptual skills.
What to expect, and what to bring:
- Glasses if already wearing them
- Reports from the school or any other professional(s) you have seen such as an educational psychologist, occupational therapist, speech therapist or other optometrist. In particular, the results of standardised testing like the WISC are very helpful
- Examples of handwriting or other work that is an issue
Plan on arriving 10 minutes before the appointment to allow time for filling out information, settling down and going to the toilet. (Many children have travelled a long way to get to our Ermington clinic and may be a little nervous). To get the most value from your time with the optometrist, please:
- Turn off your mobile phone during the assessment
- Have other children minded outside of the test room
Behavioural optometrists for the children of Sydney’s west
Our clinic is located in Ermington, in the north-western suburbs of Sydney. We are in an ideal location for children experiencing problems with their vision who live in the surrounding area, such as Parramatta, Newington, Ryde, North Ryde, and West Ryde. This is perfect for parents who do not want to go unnecessarily to the busy CBD and stay in the suburbs.
What we will want you to:
- Sit in a big comfortable chair
- Read some letters - if you don't know your letters that's OK; just tell them and they will use pictures instead
- Try some puzzles
- Draw some shapes or copy some pictures
- Look through some interesting machines and tell them when letters or pictures are clear or blurry and when you see one thing or two
- Look at a light while they look into your eyes so that they can see how healthy they are
If you don't know an answer or find some things a bit tricky that's OK - just say so. As long as you have a try, the optometrist will be happy. Very occasionally, they will need to put drops in the eyes to get a better look. The drops sting a little for about 15-20 seconds. This is the only part of the examination that may be uncomfortable and is not necessary for most patients.
Glasses or contact lenses
The behavioural optometrist may recommend glasses. Wally (as in Where's Wally?) and Harry Potter are childhood heroes that wear glasses. The optometrist or an assistant will make sure that the glasses are fitting comfortably around the ears and on the nose. Another alternative is contact lenses if your child is mature enough or comfortable with putting them in their eyes.
A behavioural optometrist may recommend vision therapy to improve visual efficiency and comfort, and to improve visual information processing skills and speed.
Optometrists have interesting machines and equipment to look through. If children are prepared for an adventure, they will enjoy looking through them.
One of the eye tests involves reading single letters. For people who aren't confident with their letters, the optometrist will use other targets such as simply designed pictures.
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