Using Your Degree

Orthoptists focus on the treatment of visual disorders such as amblyopia (reduced vision in one or both eyes), strabismus (misalignment of the eyes) and diplopia (double vision). Treatment might include patching the strong eye to improve the vision in the weak eye, eye exercises to strengthen weak eye muscles or prisms in glasses to eliminate double vision.

Excellent verbal and written communication skills are crucial to successful orthoptic practice. That’s why St. Kate’s classes are writing intensive and include presentations and group work. Creativity and critical thinking — key in the liberal arts — are also important. Young patients usually require special care to feel comfortable during an exam, and adults often have very complex problems that are not easily identified.

All orthoptists have an ophthalmology sponsor (a physician who specializes in eye care), and they may also work in tandem with optometrists (non-physician professionals who provide primary eye care) and ophthalmic medical technicians, such as ophthalmic assistants, technicians and technologists.

Excellent career prospects

Currently, orthoptists are in very short supply — so employment opportunities are abundant across the United States and Canada.

Many orthoptic graduates pursue advanced education, in areas such as optometry, public health and education.