There are three treatment alternatives available to the Behavioural Optometrist and often these are combined in a vision care programme.
These merely help the person to see more clearly if the patient does not wish to do further vision care.
Special lenses are prescribed that reduce the stresses of the near-centred tasks, such as working on video display terminals or reading, to reduce the forces which contribute to vision problems.
Lens prescriptions may be modified to guide the vision to a better mode of operation. Yoked prisms are also used where indicated. In some cases prescribed tinted (coloured) lenses are beneficial. Lenses are tools available to alter human behaviour beneficially and immediately allow patients to alter their perception of the world around them and change how they function in their environment, reducing visual stress and give them a tool to help them perform their visual tasks. Glasses become a useful appliance similar to using a good pen to aid handwriting or football boots instead of plimsolls for football to use when working in today’s demanding visual environment, which is filled with sustained near point visual demands done indoors with artificial lighting and within restricted rooms.
Here the optometrist provides a treatment programme to develop those abilities that either were not present or were poorly developed in the patient’s overall profile of visual abilities. Vision training is a step-by-step, development-based series of activities and procedures that the patient practices over time to facilitate the development of a more efficient and comprehensive visual process.
Vision training takes 3-12 months to complete, with weekly or fortnightly sessions of 40-60 minutes with the optometrist or vision therapist. This is almost always combined with home vision training by the patient.