There are a range of people involved in eye care and sight loss and here we explain what they do.

Optometrist

Also known as an ophthalmic optician, they are trained in assessing vision, glasses and eye health in adults and children. They may work in a high street opticians/optometry practice or within the hospital eye clinic.

Dispensing optician

Trained to advise about and fit glasses, frames and lenses. By law all children under 16 must have their glasses supplied and fitted under the supervision of a dispensing optician or optometrist.

Orthoptist

Often works in hospital eye clinics alongside ophthalmologists. They may also carry out school vision screening. They are trained in assessing vision and eye movements in children and adults.

Ophthalmologist

A doctor who has specialist training in eye diseases and eye surgery. They are able to check vision, glasses, diagnose and prescribe medicines for eye diseases. They are able to certify if a patient is eligible for sight impairment (blind or partially sighted) registration.

Eye clinic liaison officer (ECLO)

They provide advice and support for patients with visual impairment. ECLO's are a link with community support services and can signpost resources, activities and financial benefits which families may be eligible for.

Qualified Teachers for the Visually Impaired (QTVI)

Specially trained teachers who support children with sight impairments and staff in mainstream and special educational needs schools to provide appropriate resources and approaches to maximise educational progress.

Optical Consumer Complaints Service (OCCS)

The OCCS helps to resolve complaints about services provided by optometrists and dispensing opticians. Patients can contact the OCCS for support but might want to read our 'If things go wrong' easy read factsheet first.


If a child sees any of these specialists its important to make sure copies of their reports are sent to others that are involved in their health care and education.

Useful links

College of Optometrists

Association of British Dispensing Opticians

British and Irish Orthoptic Society

Royal College of Ophthalmologists

RNIB Eye clinic liaison officers

VIEW Qualified teachers for the visually impaired

Optical Consumer Complaints Service (OCCS)