Orthoptics are evidenced based eye exercises used to correct a number of binocular vision (eye-muscle coordination/strength) problems. The need for such treatment will be screened for in the private eye examination.
The orthoptic exercises are frequently performed at home, for short periods each day, having been taught the techniques required at the orthoptic assessment. These are then reviewed as specified at each appointment. Some cases however, require more frequent treatment at the practice (this is also available if preferred by the patient). In both cases most patients will need to purchase orthoptic equipment or software in order to carry out the exercises at home in between their appointments. The equipment required varies from patient to patient.
As orthoptics rely heavily on patient input and because the response to exercises varies amongst individuals, the duration of treatments can vary greatly. An estimate of the expected duration can either be provided at the initial Binocular vision assessment or at the first review appointment.
IS THIS THE SAME AS BEHAVIOURAL OPTOMETRY?
No, behavioural optometry is widely viewed as significantly lacking in evidence to support the therapies used and as such is not recommended by the College of Optometrists, this advice is reviewed every seven years.
Both fields often use the term Vision Therapy to describe eye exercises.
DO ORTHOPTICS ADDRESS TRACKING PROBLEMS?
Tracking has time and again been shown to be an effect rather than a cause of difficulties and as such it is much more prudent to treat any underlying issues rather than the superficial “tracking” anomaly.