The orthoptics clinic at Centro Medico Santagostino is specialized in the diagnosis and rehabilitation of vision-related motor and sensory disorders.
The orthoptist, or assistant in ophthalmology, is a healthcare professional who works closely with an ophthalmologist and, if necessary, also with other professional figures. The orthoptist holds a medical degree and is thus able to care from some specific aspects of visual health, strabismus in particular.
With a proper orthoptic evaluation, the specialist is able to:
- prevent eye strain, a problem that affects people who work at computers;
- prevent and treat amblyopia (lazy eye) in children from 0 to 8 years of age;
- evaluate any possible orthotic interferences with reading processes (7-9 years);
- evaluate headaches that are indicative of ocular factors even when no eye diseases is apparent;
- evaluate postural disorders: ocular torticollis caused by strabismus can be at the basis of postural problems;
- treat diplopia (double vision) that can result from brain injury such as paresis or paralysis;
- assess whether a child who is suspected of having a specific learning disorder may actually have a problem related to uncorrected vision.
After evaluation, the orthoptist may advise the patient to undergo orthotic exercises to be carried out both during scheduled sessions and independently at home. Each cycle of optical exercise sessions may consist of a variable number of sessions between 4 to 8 depending on the specific case.
The orthoptist's job at Centro Medico Santagostino is integrated with that of the ophthalmologist to indicate the best optical therapy, orthotics, surgical and medical treatments for each patient. The orthoptic evaluation, as well as an eye exam, can be requested by the pediatrician, psychiatrist, speech therapist, psychologist, neurologist, physical therapist, physiotherapist or osteopath. An orthoptic evaluation is suitable for patients of all ages, but is particularly important for the diagnosis and prevention of visual disorders in children.