University of Edinburgh

VIScotland Where can you go from here?

What do the different health professionals do?


An orthoptist is a person who assesses vision and eye movements. They use methods of assessing vision that are most suitable for young children. They can assess squints and patients complaining of double vision. They usually work in eye clinics with ophthalmologists.

Ophthalmologist (The Eye Doctor)

An ophthalmologist is a person who has qualified as a doctor and specialises in the diagnosis and treatment of eye conditions. They can prescribe spectacles and drugs. Most ophthalmologists will perform surgery although they may specialise in different types of surgery

Optometrist and Optician

An optometrist is a person who examines eyes to see if spectacles will improve vision. Optometrists write a spectacle prescription that is given to the patient and passed on to the optician. An optician is a person who makes spectacles based on a prescription. He or she can decide on the best type of lens and spectacle frame to suit the individual. Optometrists are sometimes called opticians.

Community Paediatrician

Community paediatricians are children's doctors who are experts in child development and in how ill health / disability affect children at school. They work in child development centres, health centres, schools and sometimes in hospitals. They assess and monitor children who have a visual impairment or other special needs, and link with other services - education, social work, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy etc, to ensure children are adequately supported. They link with the general practitioner and hospital services too. They also monitor the vision of children who have other developmental problems or disabilities. They are responsible for providing medical advice and support to schools.