The orthoptics service assesses, diagnoses and treats a variety of eye conditions.
Orthoptists work with patients of all ages who have:
- a squint (strabismus)
- lazy eye (amblyopia)
- double vision (diplopia)
- eye movement problems due to a range of conditions such as:
- neurological conditions
Orthoptists are part of the eye team that includes ophthalmologists (eye consultants) and opticians.
Orthoptists also provide a coordinated eye service with health visitors, school nurses and GPs.
The doctor in charge can refer you to an orthoptist.
A GP or optician can refer you to a hospital orthoptist.
In the community
A health visitor or school nurse can refer your child to a community orthoptist to check if treatment is needed. The community orthoptist will refer your child to the hospital orthoptics service if necessary.
The specialist orthoptists who visit special schools in Belfast are employed by Belfast Health and Social Care Trust. They are registered members of the Health and Care Professions Council.
Specialist orthoptists are trained to assess vision in children and adults who are unable to communicate verbally. They check how your child sees and uses their vision. This information can be used to promote visual abilities, education and daily activities.
The specialist orthoptists will work alongside teachers and therapists, providing advice on your child’s visual difficulties and how to optimise their vision.
Some children may be referred to an optometrist or ophthalmologist.
Orthoptic treatment may include:
- patching (if the vision in one eye is weaker than the other)
Regional Access Eye Service
If you have sudden double vision, you will be seen by an orthoptist alongside doctors from Eye Casualty.
The orthoptics service is based in a number of Trust locations:
- Royal Victoria Hospital
- Mater Hospital
- Arches Wellbeing and Treatment Centre
- Beech Hall Wellbeing and Treatment Centre
- Knockbreda Wellbeing and Treatment Centre
- Carlisle Wellbeing and Treatment Centre
- Belfast Trust orthoptic service: 028 9615 3957
- NHS information on lazy eye (amblyopia)
- NHS information on squints (strabismus)
- NHS information on double vision (diplopia)
- British and Irish Orthoptic Society