Orthoptists are concerned with the diagnosis and treatment of ocular motility and problems relating to vision. Some examples of these problems are:
Amblyopia (lazy eye), which is a reduction in vision arising from a defect present in infancy or early childhood that prevents the eye from receiving adequate visual stimulation
Defective binocular vision, which is the inability to use the two eyes together in the correct way and which leads to impairment of depth perception
Abnormal eye movements arising from injury or disease affecting the eye muscles or the nerve supplying the muscles, or a physical obstruction to eye movement
Diplopia (double vision) resulting from abnormal eye movements or strabismus (squint)
Orthoptists are recognised as the experts in childhood vision screening, and undertake primary screening of children aged four to five years.
Secondary screening is still offered in addition to primary screening. Orthoptists are skilled in performing, and in the interpretation of, a variety of diagnostic procedures where an underlying ophthalmological condition exists. Such as, perimetry (assessment of field of vision), automated and non-automated and Low vision aids (assessment of the use of visual aids for partially sighted adults).
Orthoptists need to have highly developed levels of manual, communicative and analytical skills. Their expertise extends to patients with special needs, specific learning difficulties, maxillo-facial injuries, Stroke, low vision and neurological conditions.