Saturday, April 20, 2013

Developmental optometrists find problems that other doctors don't look for

One special service that we offer patients at our Vancouver optometry clinic is developmental optometry.  Developmental optometrists find problems that other eye doctors are not trained to look for and treat.

For example, see this 1996 study from the field of rehabilitation medicine published in the journal NeuroRehabilitation by Raymond et al., where the authors advise that patients with potential visual information processing deficits should be referred to a behavioral or neuro-optometrist" and noted that "referrals made to an ophthalmologist may be insufficient, as they are primarily concerned with the health of the eye only."

Another word of advice comes from a recent family advice column from the Washington Post, where the writer said:

how well your son can see, it usually takes a developmental or behavioral optometrist to tell you how well his eyes are working when he reads or when he looks back and forth from the blackboard to the printed page. Some children get headaches because they can’t focus well or their vision is blurry, but they don’t complain because they think that heads are supposed to hurt or that the world is a blur for everyone.
If your son has these or other vision problems, don’t despair. Vision therapy is to the eyes what physical therapy is to the body, and it’s effective 90 percent of the time. He’ll just have to wear special glasses for a little while every day, do some eye exercises every day and maybe play a couple of video games. To learn more, go, the Web site for the College of Optometrists in Vision Development.

Unfortunately, that incorrect approach has denied many patients treatment and diagnoses that would have improved their lives.