Orthoptics is a health discipline that specialises in the assessment, diagnosis and non-surgical management of eye disorders.
What do orthoptists do?
An orthoptist is an eye therapist who measures visual acuity, our ability to see.
Orthoptists traditionally provided care and treatment for patients with eye movement disorders. More recently, orthoptists have expanded their role and are also involved in the care of patients with eye disease such as cataracts, glaucoma, diabetic eye disease, age related macular degeneration, systemic or neurological vision disorders and low vision.
Orthoptists work in many areas including neonatal care, paediatrics, rehabilitation, geriatrics, neurological impairment, community services and ophthalmic technology. Orthoptists are registered with the Australian Orthoptic Board.
There is a current shortage of orthoptists in hospital, community and rehabilitation settings.
An ophthalmologist is a specialist medical doctor who is licensed to practice medicine and surgery. He or she diagnoses and treats all eye diseases, performs eye surgery, and prescribes ocular medications for the management of conditions such as glaucoma and age related macular degeneration. Orthoptists often work in medical teams with ophthalmologists.
An optometrist is a graduate in Bachelor of Optometry, licensed to practice optometry. Optometrists determine the need for glasses and contact lenses, prescribe optical correction, and screen for abnormalities of the eye. They primarily work in shopfront practices offering primary eye care.