Face masks and social distancing: Due to the rising prevalence of COVID-19 in our communities, we strongly encourage healthcare staff and visitors to wear a face covering in all of our settings, particularly in clinical areas and those with high footfall. Please exercise a common-sense approach and personal responsibility to help us reduce the impact of COVID-19 on our patients, workforce and services. In addition to wearing a face covering, it is important to continue to maintain social distancing where possible. Thank you for your continued support and co-operation at this time. We continue to regularly review our advice based on prevalence in our communities and our hospitals.
COVID-19 VISITING UPDATE: Please note our rules regarding hospital visits have changed. For the latest guidance on our visiting regulations, please visit this page.
Orthoptics is the diagnosis and treatment of defective eye movements and co-ordination; which means, looking at how your eyes move individually and together making sure they are working properly.
Orthoptists are experts in the investigation, diagnosis, monitoring and management of ocular motility (eye movements) and problems relating to vision. They work autonomously and as part of an eye care team. Some Orthoptists have undertaken further post-graduate training in other fields of Ophthalmology and perform extended roles in stroke management and medical retina. If you would like to learn more about the role of an Orthoptist, you can follow this link to the NHS health careers website for more information.
Orthoptics is a separate profession from Optometry (Optician) and Ophthalmology.
Orthoptists deal with patients of all ages from premature babies who need assessment, to the elderly with double vision. Extended roles also allow Orthoptists to see patients who have retinal conditions such as age-related macular degeneration or diabetic retinopathy or those who may have visual difficulties after a stroke.
Your doctor, health visitor or optometrist will usually refer you or your child to us if they notice any abnormalities in your vision or eye alignment. If you feel you would benefit from our services, please discuss this with them as we do not take direct referrals from patients.
If you have received an appointment you cannot attend, please telephone our booking office to cancel or re-arrange on 01792 583700 (Swansea) or 01656 754393 (Neath Port Talbot). If you fail to attend an appointment without notifying us, your GP will be informed and we will not arrange a further appointment unless you are referred again.
Since September 2016, Orthoptists have been accepting referrals for people with suspected visual problems after stroke, from stroke teams in hospital and in the community.
We provide an assessment service in the early days after stroke which allows us to target advice, treatment and coping strategies to help patients get maximum benefit from their rehabilitation. We then review patients or signpost them onto other services such as the Eye clinic liaison officer, Optician, Low visual aids or Ophthalmology for partial site registration if required.
Follow this link to visit the British and Irish Orthoptic Society (BIOS) patient website. Leaflets are available on different visual conditions caused by stroke and brain injury.
Orthoptists have had extended roles within the medical retina service since 2016. This service includes reviewing patients with eye problems relating to diabetes, age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and other retinal conditions.
Orthoptists are trained to review OCT’s (scans of the macula), examine using a slit lamp (microscope), make decisions on any treatment (such as an injection into the eye) and provide treatment (give injections).