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Geriatric Orthoptist

Diagnose and treat elderly patients with eye movement problems.

What does a Geriatric Orthoptist do?

Eyes work as a team. One eye covers one part of the field, and the other eye covers the other part of the field. The eyes move in unison, in smooth sweeping motions, and the two images merge together in the brain.

Strokes, thyroid conditions, and other health problems can disrupt this team effort, and one eye may become independent, looking in an entirely different direction. As a Geriatric Orthoptist, you specialize in treating these eye movement disorders, forcing the independent eye to become a team player.

As the name “Geriatric Orthoptist” implies, you only work with older patients. Often, these patients had normal vision for decades, and they find their changed eye health to be frightening and discouraging. Your first task as a Geriatric Orthoptist is to put your patient at ease, and do your best to be reassuring about the chances of curing the problem.

In an eye exam, you measure how well your patients can track the movements of your fingers, and you ask them to read letters off an eye chart. You look closely for cloudiness or blood in the eye, as those are additional problems that should be treated by an Ophthalmologist.

Many patients need to simply retrain their eyes to move smoothly, and you ask them to wear patches and do eye stretches. Some patients need more advanced help, and you prescribe medications or corrective lenses to help resolve their double vision. You keep good notes about everything you prescribe for your patients, and you consult with their Doctor, Neurologist, and Ophthalmologist as needed to make sure you’re providing the best possible care for them.