Schools in the USA
Back to Career Search     



People who have trouble with lazy or crossed eyes need to see medical specialists for therapy and corrective eye treatments. Orthoptists evaluate and treat disorders of vision, eye movements, and eye alignment in children and adults. Orthoptics comes from the Greek, "ortho" - straight and "optikas"- for vision. Therefore, orthoptists literally help people attain straight vision. It is a specialized field in ophthalmology, dealing with very specific eye problems, such as lazy eye (amblyopia), crossed eyes (strabismus), focusing, eyeteaming and tracking disorders. They employ special lenses, filters, prisms and instruments along with computer to help people correct their vision.

Orthoptists assist ophthalmologists in the diagnosis and treatment of eye disorders by performing specialized eye tests to measure and assess defective binocular vision or abnormal eye movement in patients. They prescribe treatments such as eye exercises or patching regimens. They perform a series of diagnostic tests to assess a patient's vision and seek treatment methods. Orthoptists interpret the results of the tests to suggest a treatment plan, which may include surgery by an ophthalmologist. Treatment may alternatively involve the use of exercises and techniques to control eye movements.

The orthoptist acts as the liaison between the ophthalmologist and the patient, assisting in the explanation and execution of the treatment. Working as a consultant, the orthoptist may travel to several offices or clinics to see patients or work as a professional advisor to vision-related community agencies.

Orthoptists may decide to specialize in a specific are of orthoptics. This may include ultrasonography, fundus photography, tonometry and contact lens management. They may work only with pediatric groups such as pre-school children and children whose physical development has been slow, or in visual rehabilitation, which includes stroke patients, visually impaired patients and head injury patients. Accordingly, there is the option of teaching and conducting research on a full time basis.

Many orthoptist's patients are children who suffer from strabismus or crossed eyes. One eye focuses properly, but the other eye strays, creating a cross-eyed appearance. One eye may also be higher or lower than the other. Adults, as well as approximately two to four percent of all children, suffer from strabismus. Treatment may consist of the use of eye exercises, eyeglasses, eye patches, prisms, surgery, or a combination of methods to correct focusing errors.
View Schools for this Career: 
         Related Careers
arrow Advanced Care Paramedic
arrow Anesthesiologists
arrow Animal Care Worker
arrow [ view all related careers ]

Program Spotlight
Matching School Ad
UEI College

At UEI College, we want you to succeed. We’re like a family and we want you to be a part of it.

Programs Offered:
  • Medical Assistant (10-Month Diploma Program)
  • Medical Office Specialist (10-Month Diploma Program)



  Interests and Skills  
Orthoptists are interested in helping people with disorders of the eyes. They have excellent communication skills and can get along with people well and instill confidence. They will need emotional strength and maturity, and passion, empathy and energy. Since they might sometimes deal with patients in jeopardy of losing their vision, this can be highly stressful and emotional for both the ophthalmologist and patient.

Orthoptists should possess good depth perception, manual dexterity and color vision. They should enjoy finding solutions to problems and constantly dealing with all kinds of people. Also, ethics is a strong point for these types of people because they have to do what is right for their patients with their best interests in mind.

  Typical Tasks  
  • Aid people with correctable focusing defects to develop and use binocular vision
  • Measure visual acuity, focusing ability and eye-motor movement of eyes, separately and jointly
  • Aid patients to move, focus, and coordinate both eyes to aid in visual development
  • Develop visual skills, near-visual discrimination and depth perception using developmental glasses and prisms
  • Direct patients in eye exercises
  • Instruct adult patients or parents of young patients in utilization of corrective methods at home
  • A typical day for an orthoptist will range from standing during eye tests and treatment to sitting at a desk, writing reports and plans for treatments with eye surgeons. Working with very young or fearful children may be stressful at times, therefore the position requires a great deal of patience. They generally work standard 40- to 50-hour workweeks, including occasional weekends and evenings to accommodate patients' schedules.

  Workplaces, Employers and Industries  
  • Orthoptists work in eye clinics or ophthalmologists' offices. Some orthoptists work for more than one private practice and travel around from clinic to clinic assisting ophthalmologists. They also work in hospitals, medical research facilities, or at universities.

  Long Term Career Potential  
A few experienced orthoptists may advance to the position of clinic supervisors. Large teaching hospitals or medical centers may have teaching positions for orthoptists with advanced professional studies and broad experience. Orthoptists may also participate in clinical research and in the presentation and publication of scientific papers.

  Educational Paths  
The first step to becoming an orthoptist is a minimum of two years of university education with a specialization in science. However, most students attain a Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts degree. Then students enroll in a two-year accredited hospital-based training program in orthoptics including practical training under the supervision of an ophthalmologist.

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment Statistics, 2002, http://www.bls.gov/oes/2002/oes_nat.htm

Featured Schools

Matching School Ads
UEI College

At UEI College, we want you to succeed. We’re like a family and we want you to be a part of it.

Programs Offered:
  • Medical Assistant (10-Month Diploma Program)
  • Medical Billing & Insurance Coding (10-Month Diploma Program)

Brightwood College

At Brightwood College, we offer accelerated programs that combine flexible schedules and professional instruction to create a rewarding learning experience focused on helping you gain skills for your chosen career.

Programs Offered:
  • Medical Assistant
  • Medical Billing and Coding Specialist - Diploma

American Career College

American Career College (ACC) offers hands-on training that will prepare students for careers in the healthcare industry at three campuses in Los Angeles, Ontario, and Orange County, California.

Programs Offered:
  • Medical Assistant
  • Medical Billing and Coding

Platt College
Turn your talents into a career at nationally recognized and accredited Platt College.
Programs Offered:
  • Medical Assisting

Ultimate Medical Academy Online

Ultimate Medical Academy is a nonprofit healthcare career school—and students are at the heart of everything we do. That’s why we offer exclusive student services through your career training and beyond, beginning from the time you enroll online or at our campus in Clearwater, FL. We’ll also guide you toward the right program for your goals, and help you understand the affordability of your career training. So let us know you’re interested, and we’ll discuss how UMA can help you succeed.


Gainful employment information can be found at UltimateMedical.edu/gainful-employment and includes information on tuition, loan debt, completion, placement, and occupations.

Programs Offered:
  • Diploma - Medical Administrative Assistant
  • A.S. - Medical Billing & Coding
  • Diploma - Medical Billing & Coding
  • And more...

Milan Institute
Prepare for an exciting new career at the Milan Institute.
Programs Offered:
  • Medical Assisting
  • Administrative Medical Assistant

California College San Diego

The Secret to Getting Ahead is Getting Started

Programs Offered:
  • Medical Specialties (AOS)

Charter College

You can prepare for a new career with help from Charter College.

Programs Offered:
  • Certificate - Medical Assistant

National Career College
Choosing a school and a new career path can be a very overwhelming process.
Programs Offered:
  • Medical Assistant
  • Medical Billing and Coding

Mayfield College
Give your career a boost with an education from Mayfield College.
Programs Offered:
  • Medical Assistant
  • Medical Billing and Coding

Matching School Ads
  Universities and Colleges
Clarkson UniversityColorado School of MinesDalhousie University
Oral Roberts UniversityPenn State HarrisburgTemple University
The University of HoustonThompson Rivers UniversityUNB Saint John
University of AlabamaUniversity of ArkansasUniversity of British Columbia
University of IowaUniversity of New BrunswickUniversity of Ottawa
York University
Agriculture and Bio-resources | Allied Health and Health Sciences | Applied Business Technology | Architecture
Business Administration | Computer Science | Cosmetology and Esthetics | Culinary, Travel &Hospitality | Dance 
Engineering Technology & Applied Technology |Engineering | Film | Fine Arts and Design | Humanities and Liberal ArtsJustice and Security
| Natural and Applied Sciences | Naturopathic and Holistic MedicineNursingPublic Administration & PolicyReligious and Theological Studies
Sport Sciences and Physical Education | Teacher Education | Theatre
Articles | College News | Videos | Feedback | Career Search
Home | About Us | Contact Us | Faq | Terms of Use | Policy Statement | Site Map | Cities Site Map

Copyright 2003- 2018 QuinStreet, Inc. All Rights Reserved.