Children's Services - Orthoptics
Orthoptists are concerned with the diagnosis and treatment of ocular motility and problems related to vision. Some examples of these problems are:
Amblyopia (Lazy eye), which is a reduction in vision arising from a defect present in early childhood that prevents the eye from receiving adequate visual stimulation.
Defective binocular vision, which is the ability to use two eyes together and which leads to impairment of depth perception.
Abnormal eye movements arising from injury or disease affecting the eye muscles or nerve supplying the muscles, or a physical obstruction to eye movement.
Diplopia (double vision) resulting from abnormal eye movements or squint.
The Orthoptist deals with patients of all ages but has a particular interest in the young and the elderly as these patients have a higher incidence of ocular pathology. Orthoptists need to have highly developed levels of manual, communicative and analytical skills. Their expertise extends to patients with special needs, specific learning difficulties, stroke, maxillo-facial injuries, low vision and neurological problems.
Orthoptists are recongised as the experts in childhood vision screening and undertake primary screening of children aged 4-5 years, in line with the recommendations of the Hall 4 Report. Screening is carried out to detect defects such as reduction in visual acuity in one or both eyes, small angled squints that may be difficult for parents to detect and which may have significant effect on the development of the visual system.
Treatment for reduced vision in childhood must be carried out early as the visual system is fully developed by 8 years of age, therefore early referral is very important.
GPs, Health Visitors, School Nurses, Paediatricians and any other health professional can make referrals to the Orthoptic Department. Written referrals are preferred.
Contact Information - Mrs Diane Russell, Head Orthoptist, Royal Alexandra Hospital, Corsebar Road, Paisley PA2 9PN. Telephone No. 0141 314 6976.