Orthoptists investigate, diagnose and treat eyes. They treat vision problems, abnormalities of eye movement or damage to sight caused by illness or accident.
Orthoptists may prescribe exercises, eye patches, glasses or eye surgery as part of the patient’s care plan.
Some of the eye conditions an orthoptist may treat include
- amblyopia (lazy eye)
- diplopia (double vision)
- reduced vision
- strabismus (squint)
Some eye problems, such as double vision, may be indicators of other health problems in the body. Orthoptists play an important part in spotting these serious conditions and making referrals to other healthcare practitioners.
Orthoptists work in eye hospitals, hospital eye departments or community health centres.
As an Orthoptist, you will work with patients of all ages including:
- assessing the vision of babies and small children including children with special needs
- treating adults with double vision associated with diabetes, thyroid disorders or multiple sclerosis
- helping the rehabilitation of patients who have suffered stroke or brain injuries
- diagnosing and monitoring long term eye conditions such as glaucoma
- assessing patients before and after surgery for cataracts.
Orthoptsists work independently or in multidisciplinary teams with other eye specialists such as consultant eye surgeons (Ophthalmologists), Optometrists and nurses treating, for example, children or stroke patients.