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The orthoptic service at Weill Cornell Medicine Ophthalmology specializes in the treatment of patients with disorders of the visual system with an emphasis on binocular vision and eye movements. An orthoptist performs diagnostic tests and measurements on both pediatric and adult patients with disorders of binocular vision visual field defects, and other eye disorders.
What is an orthoptist?
An orthoptist is an eye specialist who focuses on eye movements and binocular vision. Orthoptists treat eye disorders such as amblyopia (lazy eye), strabismus, muscle palsies, and visual field defects.
What does "binocular vision" mean?
Binocular vision is the way in which the eyes work together in order to create a unified, harmonious, and balanced vision. Through this process, most humans are able to have depth perception and stereoscopic vision (3D vision). Many patients who work with orthoptists have different visual systems, with varying degrees of binocular and stereoscopic vision.
What is their mission?
An orthoptist's mission is to do everything possible to create or maintain a balance of vision between the two eyes, while optimizing visual comfort.
Common disorders treated by an orthoptist:
- Double Vision (Diplopia)
- Lazy Eye (Amblyopia)
- Eye muscle palsies (Cranial nerve palsies)
- Crossed or Drifting Eyes
- Eye Movement Disorders
What is the link between an orthoptist and an ophthalmologist?
An orthoptist works most commonly in conjunction with an ophthalmologist (usually a pediatric ophthalmologist or a neuro-ophthalmologist). The need for orthoptic services is usually initiated by an ophthalmologist, although some treatments, such as teaching eye exercises or adding prisms to glasses, may be performed entirely by the orthoptist. Orthoptists also play a role preparing patients for eye muscle surgery, and rehabilitating patients after surgery.
Is there an age limit to consulting an orthoptist?
There is no limit of age to consulting an orthoptist, because eye movement disorders and visual discomfort can occur at any point in life.