Orthoptists specialise in diagnosing and managing eye conditions, in a wide age range of patients, that largely affect eye movements, visual development or the way the eyes work together.

Working life

Orthoptics is an exciting and varied career. It offers you the chance to make a difference, a high degree of flexibility and excellent employment prospects. You’ll work with patients every day to help improve their care and their lives.

Orthoptists investigate, diagnose and treat defects of binocular vision and abnormalities of eye movement. For example, they may deal with:

What you’ll do as an orthoptist

You’ll see a huge variety of patients and help them with many different issues as an orthoptist. Some examples of things you might work on include:

Variety is one of the most exciting things about being an orthoptist. As well as seeing different patients and conditions you’ll also have the opportunity to work independently as well as part of a multi-disciplinary team including consultant eye surgeons (ophthalmologists), optometrists and nurses.

Treatments can include eye patches, glasses or exercises. Some eye problems, such as double vision, may be indicators of other health problems including multiple sclerosis or tumour. You'll play an important part in spotting these serious conditions.

Most orthoptists work in the NHS. You may work in an eye hospital, hospital eye department or a community health centre. You may also visit schools, including special schools. Outside the NHS, you may work in private clinics.

You'll work independently or with other eye specialists such as consultant eye surgeons (ophthalmologists), optometrists and nursesYou may work in multidisciplinary teams dealing with, for example, children or stroke patients.

How to become an orthoptist

To become an orthoptist you’ll need to train and study for an undergraduate degree. Entry requirements vary depending on where you’d like to study. You can find the orthoptics course to suit you using our Course Finder tool.

Want to learn more?

Other roles that may interest you

Make a comment or report a problem with this page

Help us improve Health Careers