For Patients and Visitors

What is the Orthoptics Service?

Orthoptists are university trained, allied health care professionals who work with the Ophthalmologists at Northern Health. They are involved in the assessment, diagnosis and non-surgical management of vision disorders in both adults and children and help to relieve visual symptoms and enhance visual performance.

What can I expect from the service?

  • You will be seen by the Orthoptist, followed by the Eye specialist on the same day
  • Diagnostic testing with special equipment will be used to screen and assess your vision.
  • Test will include vision, pupil examination, eye pressure measurements and looking at the back of the eye to assess its health.
  • Standard consultations will generally require drops to be placed in your eyes for thorough examination
  • An interpreter can be provided if required
  • Allow up to 2 hours for you clinic visit as you will be seeing two specialists and having your eye tests done on the same day

What do I bring/need for my appointment?

  • Your distance glasses (prescription if available)
  • Medication or list (especially eye drops)
  • Previous eye history that you may have from an Optometrist or Ophthalmologist

Please bring a responsible adult with you as you may need to have eye drops administered which will temporarily blur your vision. It is not recommended for you to drive after having eye drops administered.

How much does it cost?

There is no cost for the Orthoptic service

Contact us:

Allied Health Enquiries: alliedhealthenquiries@nh.org.au

Direct Line- BH Administration Desk: 03 8345 5378


For Health Professionals

Service Overview

An Orthoptist is an Allied Health professional, who works collaboratively with the Ophthalmologists at Northern Health. They are university trained practitioners and play a major role in the assessment, diagnosis and non-surgical management of vision disorders in both adults and children. They specialise in ocular motility/eye movement and are involved in the care of patients with cataracts, glaucoma, diabetic eye disease, macular degeneration and neurological disorders of the visual system.

The Orthoptist at BH provide an extensive variety of services:

Working with children (in conjunction with the Ophthalmologist):

  • Assessment, diagnosis and management of eye movement disorders, strabismus and amblyopia
  • Provision of patching regimes to promote good vision and improve a child’s visual function
  • Undertake retinoscopy and refraction testing to help child achieve best corrected visual acuity
  • Educate and involve parents and carers to facilitate the best visual development in the child
  • Provide advice on exercises to help strengthen the eye muscles of the child

Working with Adults (in conjunction with the Ophthalmologist):

  • Perform vision tests and determine the best corrected visual acuity for the patient
  • Examination of pupils
  • Measurement of intraocular pressure
  • Pre-operative and post-operative care of surgical patients who have undergone cataract extraction or pterygium/lesion excision.
  • Cataract assessment
  • Ocular motility assessment
  • Performing detailed diagnostic testing to determine visual health and function through visual field and optical coherence tomography
  • Biometry
  • Education of patient and family/carers of their eye condition

Inclusion criteria:

Adult Inclusion criteria:

  • Limited Medical retina (those patients who do not require injections or laser treatment)
  • Retinal Ophthalmology
  • Corneal Ophthalmology
  • Ocular motility disorders
  • Neuro-ophthalmology
  • General Ophthalmology including anterior and posterior segment disorders
  • Glaucoma management

Referrals are assessed on an individual basis and patient’s may be referred to the RVEEH or RCH for further treatment options such injections, certain laser or surgical treatment which may not be provided at Broadmeadows Health.

 Paediatric Inclusion criteria:

  • Children above the age of 1 year old, with pseudo or true strabismus
  • Children requiring management of lazy eye or exercises to strengthen muscles of the eye
  • Children with amblyopia
  • Children requiring fundus examination
  • Children requiring screening or treatment of existing pathology

Exclusion criteria:

Adult Exclusion criteria:

  • Ocular oncology
  • Low vision and rehabilitation services
  • Refractive/corrective Laser
  • Patients requiring injections or retinal laser treatment
  • Eye conditions which can be managed by local Optometrist or primary eye health care provider

Paediatric Exclusion criteria:

  • Children younger than 1 years old

How to Refer:

The Orthoptics team does not accept direct referrals for any patient requiring eye services.  Patients requiring management through Northern Health’s Eye Service require a referral via the use of HealthLink SmartForms.

Assistance with E-referral to Northern Health Specialist Clinics:

Specialist Clinics

PH: 8405 8815


Referral must include:

Referral source must be from a GP/Optometrist/ Consultant/Allied Health Specialist

Referrals made by health practioners require baseline visual acuity assessment and clear indication of current presenting visual problem. 

Alternative service options:

Local Optometrists

Australian College of Optometry 

Professional Associations

Orthoptics Association of Australia: www.orthoptics.org.au

Australian Orthoptic Board: www.australianorthopticboard.org.au

Director/Head of Unit:

Associate Director Speech pathology, Audiology and Orthoptics

Kym Patterson     0447 564 053



Allied Health Enquiries: alliedhealthenquiries@nh.org.au

Direct Line- BHS Administration Desk: 03 8345 5378