The Orthoptist’s role looking after children
The orthoptist works closely with the paediatric ophthalmologists and with the neuro-ophthalmologists to look after children who have a problem with the movement and positioning of their eyes, and also with the development of their vision. If one eye or both are not seeing clearly, the eye can become lazy; the child will not be able to develop their full visual potential, and a squint (strabismus) could emerge.
The orthoptist is a highly skilled allied medical practitioner who will assess vision in babies and small children using a variety of tests, toys, prisms and vision charts with pictures of boats and animals and other objects. The orthoptist makes your child’s eye assessment fun, skilfully using an array of small toys, as if playing a game, to assess the level of vision and the eye movements.
Orthoptists also assist with the orthoptic treatment of children with a squint and lazy eye (amblyopia). They do this by advising on the use of an eye patch to encourage the child’s lazy eye to develop its full visual potential. They also prescribe eye exercises, for instance, to help resolve problems with near vision in children. Most importantly for the Clinica London eye doctors, the orthoptist can advise consultant ophthalmologists on whether the child’s vision and eye position will benefit by wearing glasses to reduce or eliminate their squint (strabismus), or whether they would be better off having eye muscle surgery.
The orthoptist also looks after children who have brain or nerve diseases with nerve palsies and nystagmus (also known as wobbly eyes or dancing eyes). The orthoptists play a crucial role because of their unique set of skills in the clinical care of the neurological patient.
Many orthoptists also assist in doing visual field tests and other measurements of vision that assist the ophthalmologist.
The orthoptists at Clinica London also work in hospitals with the paediatric and neuro-ophthalmologists. We have two orthoptists associated with Clinica London: Ms Gina Harris and Mr Joe McQuillan, who work closely with our surgeons.
They have versatile skills and are essential and highly valued members of the clinical team at Clinica London.