February 2020: Peter's Vision

February 28 2020

IF YOU'RE a breakfast radio fan, then you may have heard Chris Evans talking about the revelation for his son that is treatment for his retained reflexes. To see his son’s newfound ability to learn to read & write as well as reduced anxiety must surely be a sight to behold!

Vision is a process that is learnt; we are normally born with two eyes that can see but have not yet fully developed nor have their connections to the brain and the processing that needs to take place.  Babies have to learn how to move their limbs in a voluntary and planned way and gain enough control so that they can then start to coordinate movements and vision together.  They can then learn to crawl towards something they see and use fine movements to pick up something small; do you see?

Gaining control over primitive (retained) reflexes (the reflexes we are born with, such as the startle reflex) is needed.  However, as with many aspects of our early development, things don’t always go as smoothly as they should and it is quite possible that some of these primitive reflexes are retained which can actually hinder more advanced development in some learning areas.  I’ve found that in my patients who have dyslexia, or dyslexic type symptoms, there is a higher amount of retained early reflexes.  

The most common reports from parents tend to be that a child or young person is just not achieving their potential.  Patients are often bright, but have difficulty expressing this in their academic performance.  They have usually developed coping strategies, but these then ultimately limit their performance ability.  A sight test usually shows little as our patients have often developed ways to pass this vision assessment.  

As part of our vision therapy (behavioural optometry) clinics, we offer a full diagnostic vision assessment, which includes time to discuss your symptoms & concerns.  We’ll then produce a written report of our findings.

Following this diagnostic assessment we can tailor a vision therapy exercise program to help you or your child develop a well functioning and balanced visual system - the aim of which is to enable our patients to achieve their full learning potential.  The process of visual system recovery & development usually takes from four to twelve months with often extraordinary results.

If you’d like to know more, our website has information under our vision therapy heading, or  if you have any questions you can drop us an email via our website.  You can book an appointment for a routine eye exam or more specialist vision assessment, for yourself or those you love, by calling 0117 962 2474 or 0117 965 4434, via our website, or just pop in to our practices in Henleaze or Fishponds and say Hi!

We look forward to seeing you soon!


Peter Turner is a Senior Optometrist at Turners Opticians in Bristol who also works part time as a Senior Optometrist at the Bristol Eye Hospital.