As behavioral optometrists we mostly occupy ourselves with the connection that exists between behavior and vision. Because of our professional duty to give people insight on the origin of their functional visual problem, we become ‘thinkers’ that detach themselves from a classical approach that is bounded by imposed and delineated rules. We are imposed to think ‘outside the box’, or better put, ‘we should do exactly that’! We have to intertwine and connect different clues, reasons, facts, events etc. to approach the person with a visual problem in the best possible way. This proces starts with the patient history of the visual problem of the client and it has to manifest itself throughout the complete visual treatment that that specific person has to go through. If this important facet is missing in a behavioral optometrist, then it makes sense that behavioral optometry often doesn’t reach the people who can be helped by a visual training and/or syntonics optometry.
That is why I ask myself how it is possible, in this digital era, that too few people know our profession, let alone experience the benefits of behavioral optometry, and what it can mean for their visual problem.
The last few decennia we suddenly see 10 centimeters closer than before, because of the extreme use of smartphones and tablets. How extreme is this condition? Yet people keep implying that this doesn’t confront us with a visual problem. That’s impossible! Because of this, we all have to accommodate an elevated amount of diopter, with severe consequences. What about our visual motor skills, our binocular sight, our visual stamina, our concentration,…?
My dear colleagues, we have to recognize and acknowledge this changing behavioral pattern as a drastic change in the ‘behavior and vision’ of human beings. The digital era has been established for some time, but we behavorial optometrists haven’t yet fully shown our knowledge to the public in general. We have to make the people know that their seeing pattern is changing because of the elevated visual tension caused by electronic devices. This also implies that visual screening can’t be a mere standard procedure, it requires an individual finetuning by us, optometrists. We have to realize that these changing social and visual behavioral patterns are an important part of, and cause of, a certain number of visual complaints. Let this way of optometrical thinking be a part of the solution that we give the customer. Let him or her experience the benefits of visual training, because a tired and troubled visual system can be helped not only with glasses! …