Orthoptists are key members of the eye care team that you may see in hospitals, clinics and schools. They assess and manage a range of eye problems, mainly those affecting the way the eyes move (such as squint or amblyopia). Orthoptics is one of what are known as allied health professions: its practitioners work alongside medical staff to provide a range of diagnostic, therapeutic and direct patient care.
This might involve prescribing eye exercises or referral for spectacle lenses or eye surgery. Orthoptists use special equipment to measure the pressure inside the eye, to assess the patient's field of vision and to carry out other testing procedures.
In some clinics, orthoptists work with ophthalmologists in helping to manage conditions such as glaucoma. Regulated in the UK by the HCPC, Orthoptists are recognised as experts in childhood vision screening, and have a lead role in the primary screening of children aged four to five years. The majority of orthoptists in the UK are employed in the NHS.
They are all professionally trained people who treat those with ophthalmic or eye problems.