There are several professions involved in eye health, and orthoptics is sometimes mistaken with optometry. Orthoptists are doctors who specialise in detecting, diagnosing, and treating eye illnesses, as well as related eye movement and visual difficulties. Orthoptics introduces learners to diagnose and correct defects in eye movement as well as difficulties with how the eyes operate together. It also aids in obtaining a knowledge of neurological problems, such as how the brain communicates with how your eyes perceive things and movement, as an eye vision specialist. Patients with neurological diseases such as stroke, brain tumours, or multiple sclerosis are frequently examined. Optometry, on the other hand, is trained to detect any vision problems, disease, or injury as well as prescribe glasses or contact lenses and refer patients for further treatment. Neither is obliged to study medicine like doctors, unlike ophthalmologists. Orthoptists give restricted eye treatment due to their lack of medical training and experience and cannot perform surgeries and prescribe medication.
Orthoptists nature of work:
- Measure and test your eyesight, and if necessary, prescription glasses.
- Eye problems such as glaucoma, cataracts, diabetic eye disease, and age-related macular degeneration are investigated, monitored, and treated.
- To identify the impact and course of eye illness, use specialised diagnostic and imaging procedures such as ultrasonography and topography.
- Ensure that individuals who have had a stroke or a brain damage receive prompt rehabilitation.
- Develop tactics and therapy programmes to maximise a person’s remaining eyesight or the vision of the visually impaired.
- Provide practitioners, therapists, and relevant authorities, such as transportation authorities, with reports on the presence of eye problems.
- Educate patients, their families, and members of the community about eye disorders and their consequences.
- Assist the community by offering vision screenings and advocating for preventative eye care.
- Recommends exercises to help with eye coordination and attention.
- Gives advice on a variety of visual health topics, including contact lens care, vision care for the elderly, optics, visual ergonomics, and occupational and industrial eye safety.
Scope of orthoptics
Orthoptics is a fascinating and diverse field. The need for vision care services continues to grow, outpacing the profession’s present human resources. As new technologies for the detection and treatment of potentially blinding illnesses become accessible, the demand for vision sciences knowledge will grow, opening up exciting current and future job opportunities for the optometrists / orthoptists. Private offices, specialty eye clinics, public hospitals (including children’s hospitals), visual impairment organisations, and research centres all employ orthoptists.
How to become an orthoptist
To become an orthoptist, you need to train and study for an undergraduate degree. You usually have to complete a degree in orthoptics, vision science, health science or biological science at university, and further specialize by a postgraduate qualification in orthoptics
For details on institutes offering orthoptics as a program, visit
Some of the career choices for orthoptists include:
- Hospital based practices (Private / Public Sector)
- Private practice /Self Employment
- Retail optical skills laboratories
- Rehabilitation centers
- Industry ( including industry safety programmes, insurance companies and ophthalmic products manufacturers)
- Academic institutions (including teaching, training and research)
- Specialty vision care (private or clinical practices in the areas such as primary care optometry, elder care, low vision, sports vision, contact lenses, vision therapy etc)
Personal requirements for an Orthoptist
- Interested in people’s health needs
- Good communication skills
- Have an aptitude for science and have analytical skills.
- Be observant.
- Possess manual dexterity.
- Have numerical skills, with the ability to take accurate measurements.
- Be patient, especially when encouraging patients to co-operate with tests and treatment.
- Be capable of working alone or as part of a team.