During your appointment in our ophthalmology center, you will be in contact with several specialists, including the orthoptist. The role of this eye specialist will be presented to you, as well as the advantages of consulting an orthoptist, at any age. To learn more about the examinations that are performed in orthoptics, please read on to the end of this article.


What is the role of the orthoptist?

Orthoptics is a profession with varied missions. Its role can be to assist the ophthalmologist by performing preparatory examinations for the appointment, but also to practice ocular rehabilitation.

They carry out a classic follow-up for their patients, as in general or visual handicap cases. They also deal with neurological pathologies, and monitor infections and traumas related to the eyes.

An up-and-coming profession, orthoptists are caring for an increasing number of patients who require treatment. This health professional is a specialist in visual exploration, re-education and rehabilitation. They perform various examinations, techniques and exercises adapted to the patient’s pathology.

You can find an orthoptist in a medical or paramedical practice, in the hospital, in rehabilitation centers or in establishments specialized in certain disabilities. They may practice alone or in collaboration with other health professionals.

Who should see the orthoptist?

Whether you choose to see an orthoptist in a private practice or as a salaried employee, you should know that anyone, of any age, is likely to go and see this specialist. Let’s take a look at who can make an appointment, and why they should see an orthoptist.

You can make an appointment with an orthoptist for your baby if there is a suspected strabismus or for a vision screening. Don’t hesitate to make an appointment before seeing an ophthalmologist in order to get an appropriate consultation for your baby.

Children and teenagers can go to see the orthoptist for routine school screenings or on the advice of their ophthalmologist. The reasons may be varied, such as strabismus, orthoptic re-education or follow-up of amblyopia (unilateral visual deficiency in children).

For adults, the referral to an orthoptist will be made by their ophthalmologist. The patient can go for orthoptic rehabilitation, in the case of visual fatigue, or for the follow-up of ocular pathologies, in order to carry out complementary examinations.

What are the complementary examinations of the orthoptist?

During your appointment with the orthoptist, you will undergo a series of complementary examinations. We will present the most common ones. Please note that other examinations exist depending on the establishment, but also on the specialties of the orthoptists and ophthalmologists with whom they collaborate.

Your orthoptist is trained and qualified to perform fundus photographs to detect diabetic retinopathy. This specialist can also perform an OCT, also known as a CT scan. This scan of the retina ensures an efficient monitoring of retinal pathologies and completes the examination of a glaucoma. The orthoptist also carries out visual field testing in order to examine the visual fibers that make up the optic nerve. 

When working with an ophthalmologist, the orthoptist can perform a corneal topography. The purpose of this examination is to visualize the relief of your cornea, in the case of a condition called keratoconus, or in view of a refractive surgery.

The decree of competence of the orthoptist has been enlarged in recent years to facilitate access to ophthalmologic examinations. These examinations complete your ophthalmological treatment, and offer you a precise diagnosis and an optimal level of care.

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