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Petitioning Belgian Government, Federal Public Service Health

Recognize and cover Behavioral/Developmental Optometry by health insurance in Belgium

My name is Michael (22) and I have been cross-eyed since I was three years old. Moreover I have been suffering from double vision over the last 5 years. I should have been treated with vision therapy as a child helping me to use my two eyes together, curing the strabismus. However, this treatment was never offered to me causing me to have a really hard time getting ahead academically. At the age of 16 I was offered surgery by an ophthalmologist and a year later at university my vision started changing. As I started to have intermittent diplopia, still nobody told me about the existence of vision therapy which at that point would have been the best solution. The doctors offered me another surgery and, in my ignorance, I accepted. I woke up wall-eyed and with very little control over my eyes causing constant diplopia... A year later I underwent surgery again with another surgeon to try make up for the previous surgery. It did improve things a little. Hitting rock bottom after yet another year I began looking for solutions on the internet (as my English was getting pretty good at the age of 20 and I had acquired some hands on expertise in the field of strabismus over the years). I discovered behavioral optometry and vision therapy and how I was denied proper treatment. My past became clearer to me and I also realized, after the misguided surgeries, a cure was going to be a lot more difficult at my age. After almost 5 years of double vision, I am making progress in vision therapy but it's a long and winding road... I have founded the website www.scheelzien.be to inform Dutch speakers of the existence of this form of treatment. Furthermore I am blogging about my VT experience and progress on http://livingwithdiplopia.blogspot.com. I want the field of (behavioral) optometry to be officially recognized in Belgium in order to significantly improve strabismus treatment so no one will ever have to go through the same horrifying experience.

Another Belgian example makes the situation crystal clear: http://www.visiontherapystories.org/lazy_eye_surgery.html#441

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  • Belgian Government, Federal Public Service Health


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