Orthoptists and their Role

Orthoptists and their Role

OrthopticsĀ is a profession allied to medicine whose primary emphasis is the diagnosis and non-surgical management of strabismus (wandering eye), amblyopia (lazy eye) and eye movement disorders.This is a Greek word and most of the responsibilities of Orthoptists are related to the eyes and eye control. These are also trained and skilled professionals and they can perform orthoptic treatment on the eyes whenever patients need their help. Their major task is to observe and determine the diseases in the eyes. One of the major diseases are glaucoma which can be cured easily if referred to the Orthoptists early.

Education and Qualifications

Orthoptics is a separate branch of medical science related to eyes, it is taught at the basic and advanced levels in the world. The students can pursue their careers as Orthoptists after they obtain either a bachelors degree from an accredited institution or a master’s degree is the higher qualification that enhances their level of understanding and expertise. Some intelligent students can go ahead and complete their PHD in this field, there are more than 16 programs available for Orthoptists to get qualified and start their practical life. All the programs lay emphasis on the diagnosis , managing and treating the eye related diseases. In United States, the qualifications needed are a 224-monthspecial training program for Orthoptists which is offered at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health

The International Orthoptic Association is the body regulating this profession worldwide. Their website contains all the information necessary to adopt this profession.

Orthoptists in Advanced Countries


In advanced countries, the rules and standards of studies are different. For example,in Australia, this program is offered by the University of Sydney and University of Melbourne,Students have the options to take a 4 years course or a 2 years course which is a masters degree after the 4 years of bachelor’s degree.

In United Kingdom, a bachelor’s degree can be obtained after successful studies of 3 years. The oldest university offering this course is University of Sheffield, also the University of Liverpool and University of Glasgow offer these degrees too.Upon the completion of their degrees, the students can be eligible to get registered with the Healthcare Professionals Council of UK.

Tasks and Responsibilities

The healthcare professionals like Orthoptists are mainly responsible for managing and diagnosing the patients with vision problems like vision disorders which is very common in the world today. Refractive errors in vision along with the problems like negative reflective accommodation cause much inconvenience for the patients, Orthoptonistsperform complete checkup related to the vision screening with the help of latest medical tools and equipment they have access to. They access the special needs of the patients and perform important tasks like Visual electrodiagnosis to help the overall diagnosis procedure successful.

Their much-anticipated task is to advise the children to a suitable specialist who have double vision or need special screen filtering. During the eye surgery operation, they also perform their duties diligently by assisting their senior surgeons.

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