An orthoptist is a healthcare professional who is trained to diagnose and treat people with vision and eye movement disorders. They may prescribe glasses or recommend eye exercises or other techniques. Orthoptists evaluate and treat conditions such as strabismus (squint or crossed eye), amblyopia (lazy eye) and double vision. They can also care for people with eye diseases such as cataracts, glaucoma, eye disease caused by diabetes, age-related macular degeneration, neurological vision disorders and low vision.
- Diagnosis and treatment
- Eye care
- Information and advice
- Prescription of glasses
Appointments can be made directly without a referral.
Your doctor or other health professional may also refer you to an orthoptist.
The cost of orthoptic services varies depending on the treatment. Contact the clinic before you attend if you are unsure of the cost.Medicare
Medicare covers orthoptic fees for individuals who are eligible under the Better Start for Children with Disability initiative.
Private health funds
Orthoptic fees are covered by some private health funds but your coverage will depend on yourinsurance policy.
SectorConventional healthcare – allied health
RegistrationOptional registration through Australian Orthoptic Board
Minimum qualificationsMaster of Orthoptics
- Orthoptists do not perform surgical procedures (these are carried out by ophthalmologists).
- Orthoptists are trained to use specialised instruments to detect and measure the progress of eye disease in people.
- Orthoptists do not need to be registered, but those working in public hospitals, some private ophthalmology clinics and specialist eye rehabilitation clinics are required to be registered with the Australian Orthoptic Board.