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Click here for ´Professional - Profile (Dutch) Orthoptists´

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).

The orthoptist, having taken a precise ocular and medical history, will carry out a detailed examination of the patient and then select the appropriate diagnostic techniques. These include tests to assess the position of the eye, the ocular motility and the state of binocular function (use of the two eyes together).

The interpretation of the results allows the orthoptist to judge the patient¡es ability to interpret visual information and to maintain eye control with the two eyes working in unison. The orthoptist can also establish whether the defect is recent in onset and may consequently have neurological implications.

Inaccurate diagnosis can have serious consequences.
Treatment techniques available to the orthoptist include:

  • Use of occlusion to reduce the visual input into one eye, either in the form of an eye patch, cycloplegic drug, or  lenses, in order to improve visual acuity.
  • Use of prisms/strabismussurgery to control double vision or correct strabismus.
  • Use of lenses to alter the angle of strabismus, by changing the amount of focusing power needed.

Treatment over several years may be necessary in some cases. Inappropriate or delayed treatment can create irreversible damage such as reduced vision in the good eye or constant diplopia.

We have listed below a number of websites that may be of interest to you.
Please note, however, that the Dutch Orthoptic Society (NVvO) takes no responsibility for the content of other websites.

International Orthoptic Association: www.internationalorthoptics.org
The British and Irish Orthoptic Society: www.orthoptics.org.uk
Orthoptistinnen Duitsland: www.orthoptistinnen.de
Orthoptistes de France: www.orthoptie.net