Orthoptics (Eye) Clinic

If your child goes to an eye specialist (ophthalmologist) because of lazy eye (amblyopia) or another condition related to eye movement or eye misalignment (strabismus), the ophthalmologist will likely refer your child to an orthoptist. Most patients referred to the Orthoptics Clinic at the Polyclinic are children under 10 years of age, but adults may also be referred.

How can the orthoptist help?

Orthoptists investigate, diagnose, and treat abnormalities in eye alignment, eye movement, and binocular vision. A variety of treatments may help patients, including glasses, prisms, eye patching, eye exercises, etc. The orthoptist may also make recommendations to the ophthalmologist when surgical or medical treatments are required.

How can I access this service?

You must be referred by an ophthalmologist (eye physician and surgeon). Every patient who sees an orthoptist must also see an ophthalmologist. 

  • Your family doctor or an optometrist can refer you to an ophthalmologist. 
  • Ophthalmologists will also see children who have been identified through the vision screening program through Public Health Nursing
  • Orthoptists are skilled at performing pediatric eye exams. Therefore, almost all children referred to an ophthalmologist will receive an appointment in the Orthoptics Clinic. 

What can I expect at my first appointment?

  • The first visit is a detailed assessment that often involves both an orthoptics examination and an ophthalmology examination on the same day.
  • The orthoptics examination will be at the Polyclinic on Grafton Street in Charlottetown. The ophthalmology examination is typically done at the ophthalmologist’s clinic.
  • Please arrive 15 minutes before your appointment. The clinic is very busy and we cannot guarantee that late arrivals will be seen.  
  • On the first appointment, you should plan to be in the orthoptics clinic for about one to two hours. 
  • Most new patients will have their eyes dilated with eye drops during the orthoptics examination. You should expect to spend about 30 to 60 minutes in the waiting room as the eye drops take effect. The orthoptist will then do another examination after the eyes have dilated. 
  • Dilation will temporarily blur vision and make the eyes sensitive to light. If possible, you should consider bringing a pair of sunglasses to the appointment. You might also want to bring a small number of toys or books to help children pass the time waiting for dilation. 
  • Adults who need to have their eyes dilated should bring a driver for after the appointment.
  • Follow-up visits will be scheduled based on the results of the initial examination. These are usually shorter examinations that do not require eye drops. 

How do I contact the Orthoptics Clinic?

QEH Orthoptics Clinic
The Polyclinic
199 Grafton Street
Suite 301
Charlottetown, PE   C1A 1L2

Telephone:  (902) 629-8850
Fax:  (902) 629-8802
Email:  orthoptics@gov.pe.ca

Published date: 
April 30, 2021
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