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Tuesday / August 16.
HomeminewsOphthalmologists and Behavioural Optometrists Disagree Over Report

Ophthalmologists and Behavioural Optometrists Disagree Over Report

The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists (RANZCO) has condemned the coverage of a recent Channel 7 News report on behavioural optometry “for failing to acknowledge the lack of research and evidence to support the practice”.

RANZCO President A/Prof Mark Daniell said that “primary dyslexia and learning disabilities are complex neurocognitive conditions and are not caused by vision problems. There is no evidence to suggest that eye exercises, behavioural vision therapy, or special tinted filters or lenses improve the long-term educational performance of people affected by dyslexia or other learning disabilities.

“It is irresponsible to promote behavioural optometry to treat these conditions without letting people know that it is an unproven practice. Parents of children with dyslexia and other learning disabilities want to do what’s best for their children and it is unfair to give them false hope in expensive treatments and aids for which there is no evidence.”

The Australasian College of Behavioural Optometrists (ACBO) responded to what they claimed were “inaccuracies highlighted” by RANZCO stating that “behavioural optometrists do not diagnose and treat learning disabilities or dyslexia, and that RANZCO seems to ignore the substantial evidence that exists. ”
ACBO said that the policy of Behavioural Optometrists, which it says is available on its website, is to treat “problems of vision function, including focusing, eye coordination and eye movements, and development of vision perception, which can potentially affect a child’s or adult’s ability to use their eyes for reading, computer use and other activities of daily living.”

ACBO President Steve Leslie stated that “There is a considerable body of highly credible peer reviewed evidence and research that supports the practices of ACBO Members. This has a strong historical basis which continues to develop. RANZCO’s continued use of discredited and out of date references to prosecute the case against Behavioural Optometry is unfortunate and unfair.”

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