Orthoptics is a profession allied to medicine. The role of the orthoptist is to investigate, diagnose and treat disorders of ocular motility, binocular vision and associated anomalies. The orthoptist is an integral member of the ophthalmic team and is usually based in the hospital eye service, but is becoming increasingly involved in the community and education sector.
The majority of the orthoptist's work is concerned with children suffering from different kinds of squint. A squint may prevent the eyes from being used together (binocular vision) and it can affect sight. If treatment is carried out early, vision can usually be restored and in favourable cases can result in normal binocular vision. The orthoptist is involved in the screening of pre-school children and the assessment of handicapped children.
Many adults including a number of elderly people suffer from defects of ocular movement caused by injury or disease. Part of an orthoptists work is the diagnosis of such problems and the relief of their symptoms, often distressing double vision.
In some centres orthoptists aid in the diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma, maxillofacial problems and the rehabilitation of stroke patients.
There is more information on Orthoptics at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust on the Orthoptic department webpages