The eyes are incredibly complex structures. As technology has advanced and as knowledge has grown, eye care has evolved over many years and now involves several professions. These separate professional groups often work together as part of the eye care team.
Orthoptists are health and social care professionals who specialise in the assessment, diagnosis and management of eye movement disorders of the eyes, vision and eye movements. We focus on how the eyes work together, this is called binocular vision.
Our patients include children with strabismus or amblyopia (lazy eye), but we also see adults, particularly those with symptoms relating to diplopia (double vision) or focussing difficulties. As the role continues to evolve many orthoptists work in glaucoma, cataract, macular degeneration clinics. They also specialise in stroke and neuro rehab, you can contact your local Orthoptist to see what services are available, click here (link to find an orthoptist).
Orthoptists work closely with the following professionals:
Ophthalmologists are registered medical doctors who specialise in diseases of the eye and the surrounding areas. They diagnose, treat and perform surgery on the eyes. Typically, patients are referred to an Ophthalmologists and they work collaboratively with other members of the eye care team including Orthoptists who help diagnose and treat patients.
More information can be found at the Irish College of Ophthalmologists
Optometrists are trained to clinically examine patients with defects of their eyes and vision. They typically work in the high street but are more commonly working in hospitals and community clinics across Ireland. Optometrists are able to clinically advise patients, prescribe glasses and contact lenses and make forward referrals for patients that require further treatment. They have expertise to diagnose general health issues such as diabetes and high blood pressure. Optometrists primarily focus on the eye health itself rather thank the brains connection.