What does the orthoptist do for adult patients? Part 2
Help with Squint surgery
Once an orthoptist has measured the extent of the patient’s squint and the other eye parameters, they can then advise the ophthalmic surgeon on what type of squint (strabismus) surgery they need to carry out and the amount of eye muscle repositioning they will need to perform. Squint surgery consists of repositioning the tiny muscles that move the eyes into a weaker or stronger position. This improves the overall position of the eyes, increases the field of single vision for both eyes and helps to eliminate troublesome double vision.
The orthoptist will also calculate whether the patient is likely to suffer from double vision after surgery by doing what is called the post-operative diplopia test. This test tells the ophthalmologist whether or not the patient having strabismus (or squint) surgery will experience double vision afterwards.
Nerve disease and neuro-ophthalmology
The orthoptist also helps the neuro-ophthalmologist with patients who have cranial nerve palsies, which cause either horizontal or vertical double vision. The orthoptist helps to correct these problems using prism lenses for glasses and can also advise the surgeon on the likely effect of an operation. The doctor then makes the decision to carry out surgery and advises the patient.
The orthoptist also helps the squint surgeon and the neuro-ophthalmologist to inject Botulinum toxin (Botox) into the eye motility muscles to reduce double vision.
Other indications to see the orthoptist
The orthoptist works in conjunction with the ophthalmologists at Clinica London looking after adult patients primarily with problems of eye movement (motility). They assist in cases which are either cosmetic, for example when the patient has a very obvious squint, or in neurological cases, when the patient is experiencing wobbly vision (nystagmus) or double vision (diplopia).