It's hugely satisfying when I see the strategies and technology I've introduced people to working; it's helped them get back to doing the things they want to do.Vision Australian Orthoptist Johnathan
Managing your eye health is important of course. Chances are if you have low vision, you will need to see several providers, but it can feel more like the final round of a spelling bee than a health care decision when you're figuring out the differences between ophthalmologists and orthoptists.
Orthoptists are eye care professionals who work with patients to manage a broad range of eye diseases.
Orthoptists are involved in the management of eye diseases like cataracts, glaucoma, lazy eye, and macular degeneration.
Often, they will work in clinics alongside ophthalmologists working on assessing and managing people's eye conditions.
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Vision Australia Orthoptists can provide clinical and functional vision assessments, recommendations and prescription for assistive devices, assessment of lighting requirements at home and work, and techniques for reading and carrying out-day-to-day tasks.
Orthoptists like Jonathan are often the first port of call for Vision Australia clients. "I will often receive visits from people experiencing a range of conditions, including macular degeneration, glaucoma, cataracts or diabetic retinopathy," Jonathan said.
"A Vision Australia orthoptist will help the client to better understand their condition and some of the things they can do to make the most of the vision they have."
An orthoptist of more than 10 years' experience, Jonathan says that the biggest reward of his job is the positive outcomes he gets for his clients.
"I recently demonstrated the IrisVision - a wearable device with powerful magnification capabilities to assist people with low vision, exclusive to Vision Australia stores - to a client who brought her husband and two children along.
"She hadn't seen their faces for six years since her vision loss, and now she can again!
"It's hugely satisfying when I see the strategies and technology I've introduced people to working; it's helped them get back to doing the things they want to do."
Is it time to have your vision assessed? Book an appointment with Jonathan today by contacting Vision Australia Bendigo on (03) 5445 5700 or visit at 1/20 Bridge Street, Bendigo.
Did you know?
In Australia more than 453,000 people are blind or vision impaired. A huge 93 percent of Australians over 55 years of age say that sight is their most valued sense. In fact, six in 10 Australians say that the fear of going blind is worse than the fear of having a heart attack or losing a limb.
About nine out of 10 cases of blindness and vision impairment is preventable or treatable if detected early.
Yet about one third of us do not have eye tests regularly (every two years) and six percent have never had an eye test.
During JulEye, RANZCO is raising awareness of the important role that research, education and outreach play in helping to end preventable blindness.