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Orthoptist  What They Do

Just the Facts


Diagnoses and treats visual system disorders such as binocular vision and eye movement impairments.

This career is part of the Health Science cluster Therapeutic Services pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Performs diagnostic tests or measurements, such as motor testing, visual acuity testing, lensometry, retinoscopy, and color vision testing.
  • Examines patients with problems related to ocular motility, binocular vision, amblyopia, or strabismus.
  • Provides instructions to patients or family members concerning diagnoses or treatment plans.
  • Evaluates, diagnoses, or treats disorders of the visual system with an emphasis on binocular vision or abnormal eye movements.
  • Provides nonsurgical interventions, including corrective lenses, patches, drops, fusion exercises, or stereograms, to treat conditions such as strabismus, heterophoria, and convergence insufficiency.
  • Interprets clinical or diagnostic test results.
  • Develops or uses special test and communication techniques to facilitate diagnosis and treatment of children or disabled patients.
  • Develops nonsurgical treatment plans for patients with conditions such as strabismus, nystagmus, and other visual disorders.
  • Provides training related to clinical methods or orthoptics to students, resident physicians, or other health professionals.
  • Refers patients to ophthalmic surgeons or other physicians.

Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would sit most of the time. There's some walking and standing. You may have to lift and carry things like books, papers or tools weighing 10 lbs. or less.
  • Exposed to disease and infections more than once a month through work such as patient care, laboratory work, and sanitation control
  • Work in this occupation involves using your hands to hold, control, and feel objects more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Sound and noise levels are loud and distracting
  • Work in this occupation involves making repetitive motions more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves sitting more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Seeing clearly at a distance
  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person

Work Hours and Travel

  • Regular working hours and limited travel

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Certified Orthoptist --
  • Chief Orthoptist --
  • Clinical Orthoptist (CO) --