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Pediatric Orthoptist

Develop treatment plans for kids with vision problems.

What does a Pediatric Orthoptist do?

In the world of eye care, Pediatric Orthoptists are a little like a cross between a Personal Trainer for eyes and an Ophthalmologist Assistant. Though there are Orthoptists who work with adults, Pediatric Orthoptists work with kids to improve eye problems, especially those caused by weak ocular muscles.

As a Pediatric Orthoptist, you work underneath an Ophthalmologist, using your training to measure vision and diagnose sight problems. Specifically, you look at problems related to children’s binocular vision. Though it might sound like something only superheroes or the Bionic Man possesses, in reality, binocular vision simply means using both eyes at the same time. A lazy eye or cross-eyes are examples of binocular vision problems, and they can cause issues like double vision or a depth perception that’s way off.

Like any type of Physician, your first step is to meet with your patient to get an idea of what issues they’re facing. Since vision problems can be caused by either neurological issues or weak muscles (and each calls for very different treatment plans), you do a series of assessments to pinpoint the exact problem. After you make a diagnosis, you then work with an Ophthalmologist to create a specialized plan to fix the problem. You can suggest things like muscle strengthening exercises, glasses, and in extreme cases, surgery.

Once you create a treatment plan, it’s your job to explain to the patient and the parents exactly what they need to do. You walk your patients through each of their exercises, and in the case of surgery, you oversee their post-surgery recovery.