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What is an Orthoptist and what do they do?

Many people ask us at Clinica London, “What is an orthoptist?”

What sort of patients does an orthoptist look after?

At Clinica London, child and adult patients who have eye motility problems see the orthoptist as well as the surgeon.
Patients who have an eye motility problem usually have a squint (strabismus), or a problem with the movement of their eyes, such as restricted movement of one or both eyes in one direction, due to a damaged nerve to the eye muscles. Or they may have wobbly eye movements.

What is an orthoptist?

The orthoptist is a professional medical person. We often refer to them as “allied healthcare practitioners”. They are university trained, and they specialise in eye measurements, particularly for patients with eye movement disorders, and diagnostic eye tests related to the visual system.

An orthoptist sees both children and adults

Orthoptists most commonly examine the vision and eye position in children but not uniquely, as they also work with adults. The orthoptist’s role in working with children, however, is very important as they will also provide treatment for amblyopia (known as “lazy eye”), not just an orthoptic diagnosis about the squint or eye position and movement.
The eye conditions that orthoptists most commonly look after include strabismus, or squint, which is a malalignment of the eyes; double vision and restriction of eye movement, which can be congenital because of nerve palsy; and reduction of vision in younger people such as amblyopia (lazy eye).
In the next two blogs, I will explain to you more what orthoptists do for children and adults.


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