Finding a behavioral optometrist near me wasn’t easy! They are a rare breed it seems.
I will set out in this post firstly what they are. Hopefully that will help you decide if you need one. If you do, I provide web sites that contain directories you can search for a behavioral optometrist in your area.
It maybe that you can’t find one in your area. Don’t despair if that happens though. I set out below what online programs and other resources you could try as the next best option.
How Do They Differ From a Conventional Optometrist?
A conventional optometrist will check your eye health and your eyesight. If you don’t have 20/20 vision, their only remedy will be glasses, contact lenses or maybe laser eye surgery.
A behavioral optometrist on the other hand has a more holistic approach to eyesight correction. S/he takes a look at how the whole body is functioning and the eyes’ interaction with the rest of the body. So their goal is to make sure that the mind, body and eyes’ can work together harmoniously.
They are more like physical therapists for the eyes’. Consequently, their eye examinations are much more thorough than the conventional optometrist. And the cost of their eye examinations are, unsurprisingly, more expensive.
In this post, my focus is on how a behavioral optometrist can work with you to improve short sight or at the very least maintain your current prescription. [But that is not to say you can’t use the directories shown below to find one in your area if your needs are different].
A behavioral optometrist may see the benefit of prescribing you with an under corrected pair of prescription glasses especially for use for close up work. If you want to read more about this (termed by some as ‘reduced lens therapy’), click here. This is something you may not want to experiment with on your own and ideally you want to obtain a professional’s advice to guide you through this.
This type of optometrist is usually more focused on developmental issues with children. Their work includes eye alignment, eye focusing ability and visual processing. However, there are some that offer a service that is not simply geared towards children. So it is worth doing your own research beforehand to find a behavioral optometrist that will suit your needs.
So, some useful web sites you can try to find a behavioral optometrist near where you are:
– The Directory on the Optometrists.org website. This is a great resource. This will help you find an eye doctor suited to your needs including a behavioral optometrist. You will be able to find an eye doctor in 16 countries including the US, the UK, Canada and Australia.
–The College of Optometrists in Vision Development. Again another great resource for finding a specialist optometrist in your area. It provides contacts in a number of different countries.
For me this provided two professionals to consult in the UK where I live. One was a bit too far away for me but the other is within a reasonable traveling distance.
Programs on the Web as an alternative
Finding a professional optometrist to take you through the process of reduced lens therapy is the ideal. However, on some occasions this may not be an option available to you. It maybe you simply can’t find an appropriate one in your area. Or the financial cost maybe prohibitive for you.
So what do you do?
Well fortunately there are still on line resources you can try.
Firstly, there is the website Drsamberne.com. Dr. Berne has had a private practice for over 25 years in New Mexico helping patients improve their vision through holistic methods. On his website he has, among other resources, a 90-day plan of eye exercises for short sightedness.
Then there is the program offered by the Cambridge Institute for Better Vision. It offers a vision improvement program which you can carry out at home. Through eye exercises and other techniques, you can train your eyes’ to focus better and learn how to reduce eye strain. The complete course is currently in the region of $50 (the downloadable course is a bit cheaper).
If you want to check out the course first you could always buy the book on its own very cheaply on Amazon before committing to the full course. Second hand books are available on the site.
Books you can consult
In an earlier post I discussed some of the books that are available regarding vision improvement. If you want to read this post, click here. In summary the books I found most helpful were:
- Improve your Vision without Glasses or Contact Lenses by the American Vision Institute. This contains a series of visual habits and booster techniques to try. The writers also suggest using glasses with a weaker prescription as a way of making the eyes’ work to restore their natural focusing power.
- The Secret of Perfect Vision by David De Angelis. He also recommends a series of eye movement techniques and explores how the use of lower prescription lenses can strengthen the focusing ability of the eyes’.
In both these books, the authors though do not give any specific advice on the amount of reduction of the weaker prescription. It is a bit of trial and error on your part. If you can’t get your conventional optometrist to provide you with weaker prescription lenses, you could try to order these online through such web sites as eyebyedirect.com.
A Behavioral Optometrist is the Ideal
If you can find a behavioral optometrist near you so much the better. That one-on-one support should be a great motivator and the optometrist should be able to tailor their program to suit your specific needs. However, if you can not find a local behavioral optometrist in your area, there are always on-line resources and books that you can try. With the latter, it maybe a case of trial and error but it is the next best thing.