Orthoptists are healthcare professionals who are trained in the assessment, diagnosis and treatment and rehabilitation of patients with eye disorders. Orthoptists specialise in children’s vision, eye movement disorders and low vision care and rehabilitation.
Where do orthoptists practise?
Orthoptists work across a range of settings including hospitals, private specialist practices, agencies, independent private practice and research centres.
When should I see an orthoptist?
There are a wide range of reasons that may lead to a person to visit an orthoptist. Some typical reasons for to see an orthoptist include:
- Eyes have been observed to deviate or turn constantly or intermittently
- Difficulty with eye movements or because of blurred, missing or double vision
- Poor vision that cannot be corrected by glasses
- Low vision requiring assessment and aids to manage daily living tasks and occupational demands
- Visual difficulties following brain injury or stroke.
What services do orthoptists provide?
Orthoptists offer assessment and management of various ocular and vision disorders. These can include:
- Assessment and management of amblyopia (lazy eye) and strabismus (misalignment of eyes) in children
- Assessment and management of adults and children with eye movement disorders, strabismus (misalignment of the eyes) and visual conditions such as diplopia (double vision) and visual field loss.
- Screening for ocular conditions, in particular vision screening for children or elderly. It may include diabetic retinopathy screening, glaucoma or high eye pressure
- Assessment and management of patients with low vision/vision impairment
- Assessment and management of patients with neurological deficits (e.g. loss of visual field subsequent to stroke)
- Ocular assessment for the evaluation of occupational standards and/or driving.
How are orthoptists qualified?
In order to practice, an orthoptist must meet the following requirements:
- Complete a recognised orthoptic qualification offered at La Trobe University or University of Technology Sydney
- Complete continuing professional development
- Register with the Australian Orthoptic Board.
For more detailed information about orthoptists, please visit the Orthoptics Australia website or the Australian Orthoptic Board website.