Orthoptists diagnose and treat defects of vision and abnormalities of eye movement. They are part of the professional eye team and their work helps people of all ages from babies to the elderly. Orthoptists also have an extended role in assisting children with reading difficulties and glaucoma monitoring.

Patients are referred to the department for a variety of reasons, for example:

  • Squint
  • Double vision
  • Blurred vision
  • Headaches
  • Suspected low vision
  • Failed eye test
  • Reading difficulties/dyslexia
  • Low vision aid assessment for children with visual impairment
  • Visual assessment of children and adults with communication difficulties and special needs
  • Glaucoma monitoring

The type of treatment depends on the individual needs which are identified at initial and subsequent assessments. These may include:

  • Occlusion therapy
  • Exercises
  • Use of prisms
  • Glasses
  • Pre and post-operative care

Most referrals would come from a consultant ophthalmologist, via a GP, health visitor, school nurse or optician, or from within the hospital from for example the stroke unit or maxillo-facial team.