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What you should know about orthoptics

Orthoptists are eye care professionals who are university trained in the diagnosis, assessment and treatment of vision and eye disorders. Orthoptists work with people from all age groups and are integral members of the eye health care team.

Orthoptists have a particular expertise in:
– Diagnostic testing and clinical investigation of patients with eye diseases such as cataract, macular degeneration, diabetes and glaucoma (which are the most common causes of blindness in our community).
– Clinical assessment and non-surgical management of eye misalignment and eye movement disorders.
– Assessment and rehabilitation of patients with low vision.
– Visual rehabilitation for stroke patients who have lesions that affect the visual centre of the brain.
– Vision screening and detection of vision problems in the pre-school population enabling early intervention and prevention of visual disability.

Places of work
– Orthoptists predominately work in specialist eye clinics and public hospitals where they monitor eye disease, provide clinical and technical support to ophthalmologists and provide treatment which includes eye exercises and prescribing glasses.
– Rehabilitation and low vision agencies.
– Vision and medical research centres and universities.
– Eye care and pharmaceutical industry providing technical expertise about eye care products as well as the sale and promotion of diagnostic and surgical instrumentation.

Relationship with ophthalmologists
– Orthoptists work alongside and in close collaboration with ophthalmologists in both the private and public sector.
– Relationship is similar to that which exists between radiographers and radiologists.
– Orthoptists may join RANZCO as Associate Members.
– The RANZCO Annual Scientific Congress and the Orthoptics Australia Annual Scientific Conference are held around the same time and at the same venue each year which fosters the professional relationship between orthoptists and ophthalmologists to enhance patient safety and eye care delivery.

Education & Training Centres in Australia
La Trobe University: Faculty of Health Sciences, Department of Clinical Vision Sciences
Undergraduate entry: Bachelor of Health Sciences/Master of Orthoptics – 4 Years
Graduate entry: Master of Orthoptics – 2 Years

For further information visit

UTS: Graduate School of Health, Discipline of Orthoptics
Graduate entry: Master of Orthoptics – 2 Years

For further information visit

More information

orthopticsOrthoptics Australia:
Orthoptics Australia (OA) is a national organisation representing members in all states of Australia, as well as members from other countries, including New Zealand, United Kingdom, Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong. OA strives to promote and advance the discipline of orthoptics in public hospitals and ophthalmology practices, and to actively seek and implement career and work benefits and opportunities for its members.

International Orthoptic Association:
Promotes orthoptics worldwide, providing information and support to national bodies and individual orthoptists while helping to maintain and improve standards of education, training and orthoptic practice. The IOA represents orthoptists in more than 22 countries around the world.


Last updated: November 29, 2018

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