Treating eye movement problems whether it’s caused by double vision, lazy eye or squints is all part of a day’s work for an orthoptist and on Monday June 3 that work takes centre stage at Moorfields Eye Hospital for the first ever World Orthoptic Day.
At Moorfields Eye Hospital the hospital‘s team of 22 orthoptists work across the City Road and the hospital’s satellite sites. They plan to mark the launch of the day, devoted to their profession, by highlighting what they do and why they do it, through an information awareness event in the main foyer of City Road and answering questions from staff, visitors and patients alike. They will also promote their role in eye care and the kind of treatments that are involved via social media channels.
Orthoptists work with patients of all ages but are usually recognised for their expertise in the assessment of vision in children and in the field of paediatric vision screening.
Frequently young patients may be examined to detect strabismus or reduced vision, particularly in the presence of genetic or developmental risk factors, or treated for amblyopia ( lazy eye) resulting from strabismus or refractive errors.
Older patients with double vision following a stroke or head injury, or associated with general disorders such as thyroid dysfunction may also see an orthoptist. In these situations the orthoptist diagnoses and monitors the eye movement defect and treats the double vision where possible.
Chris Timms Head of Moorfields Orthoptics Department said: “A day dedicated to our work is a great opportunity to promote the profession and we are glad to celebrate its achievements which stretch across the fields of treatment, research and policy development in this way. “
Orthoptists contribute to the management of all types of strabismus and eye movement disorders by working within a multidisciplinary team (mainly ophthalmology but also paediatrics, neurology, endocrine, maxillo-facial among others) to achieve a co-ordinated approach to therapy.
As a profession Orthoptics is allied to medicine whose primary remit is the diagnosis and non-medical management of strabismus (squint), amblyopia (lazy eye) and eye movement disorders.
Notes to editors
What is World Orthoptic Day?
- The International Orthoptic Association (IOA) is the global voice of the orthoptic profession which internationally is made up of 15 member national professional organisations and six associate member organisations. IOA World Orthoptic Day is the opportunity to heighten the visibility of the orthoptic profession and to promote the activities of orthoptists locally, nationally, and internationally.
- When is it? Annually on the first Monday of each June
The aim is that the IOA World Orthoptic Day will be integrated with other national celebrations and promotions of the mission and goals of orthoptic therapy
- Moorfields is one of the world’s leading eye hospitals, providing expertise in clinical care, research and education. We have provided excellence in eye care for more than 200 years and we continue to be at the forefront of new breakthroughs and developments. We are an integral part of one of the UK’s first academic health science centres, UCL Partners, and were one of the first NHS organisations to achieve foundation trust status in 2004.
- We treat the entire range of eye diseases, from common complaints to rare conditions which require treatments not available anywhere else in the UK. We dealt with more than 475,000 patient visits in 2011/12 at our main hospital base in London’s City Road and at 19 other sites in and around the capital, enabling us to provide expert care closer to patients’ homes.
- With our research partners at the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, we run one of the largest ophthalmic research programmes in the world and have the highest measure of scientific productivity and impact in the world for our research activity
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