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Orthoptics and Children’s Eye Services

Orthoptic Department
Orthoptic Department 2


The orthoptic department is part of the ophthalmology service at the Leicester Royal Infirmary. The majority of paediatric (children’s) care is carried out here, along with various adult services.

What is Orthoptics?

The orthoptic service specialises in the investigation, diagnosis and treatment of eye movement disorders in people of all ages. They also manage and treat problems involving visual development in young children.

Orthoptists also provide services to other areas, such as the maxillo-facial department, stroke services and paediatrics.

Many orthoptists also carry out extended roles, and are involved in the cataract service, electro-diagnostic testing, and visual field assessment amongst other things. They are also involved in specialised paediatric clinics, including cyst clinics, uveitis clinics and paediatric cataract clinics.

To find out more about what orthoptics involves, see the British and Irish Orthoptic Society (BIOS) website www.orthoptics.org.uk/patients-and-public/

Where are we?

The Orthoptic Department is located at the Leicester Royal Infirmary, on the ground floor of the Windsor building.

Some orthoptic services are also provided in community hospitals throughout Leicestershire and Rutland. We currently run clinics in Coalville, Hinckley, Loughborough, Market Harborough, Melton Mowbray and Oakham. If any of these locations would be more convenient for you then please ask when you attend. Please note, however, that not all services are provided by the community hospitals, so availability will depend on your (or your child’s) eye condition and where you wish to be seen.

What to expect at your visit

Depending on the problem you have been referred to us with, there are different types of clinic you may be asked to attend. You may see just one specialist, or several different ones, and there are many different tests and investigations which may be carried out.

You (or your child) will almost certainly be assessed by an orthoptist. If this is the only person you need to see, then your appointment is likely to last for approximately 20 to 40 minutes, however this can vary. There is a possibility that you will need to have eye drops in your eyes, although this is unlikely.

You may be seen on a combined clinic, in which case you will be seen by an orthoptist and an optometrist, or an orthoptist and a doctor, or occasionally all three. These combined appointments tend to take a lot longer, as all of our patients are different and will need different amounts of time with each specialist. Combined clinics often also involve the need to have dilating drops put into your or your child’s eyes, which take time to work.

If dilating eye drops are required these will affect your vision, causing blurring and light sensitivity. Adults in particular need to be aware of this, as you will need to avoid driving until your vision returns to normal. 

More in this section:

What the different Specialists do

Meet the team

How to find us

Teaching and Research

Links to information leaflets


Contact us

Orthoptic Department,

Windsor level 0, Leicester Royal Infirmary.

Tel: 0116 2585277