• Press Release

New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai Celebrates World Orthoptics Day

  • New York, NY
  • (June 01, 2015)

New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai (NYEE) joins with the International Orthoptic Association (IOA) to observe June 1st as World Orthoptics Day.

Held annually on the first Monday in June, World Orthoptics Day recognizes the clinical care provided by orthoptists, who evaluate and treat eye movement problems in both children and adults. Working in a multidisciplinary team with ophthalmologists, neuro-ophthalmologists, and pediatric ophthalmologists and using specialized examination techniques, these specialists manage non-surgical treatment of patients with eye muscle disorders, misaligned eyes, and decreased vision.

“Orthoptists are crucial members of the eye care team at NYEE and play a pivotal role in patient care and education,” said James C. Tsai, MD, MBA, President, New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai, and Chair, Department of Ophthalmology, Mount Sinai Health System.

NYEE was home to the nation’s first orthoptics training program dating back to 1938 and continues to have one of largest clinical program treating more than 5,800 patients per year. The three orthoptists in the NYEE Pediatric Ophthalmology / Orthoptics/ Adult Strabismus Service work with more than 500 ophthalmologists across the Health System and the New York Metropolitan region.

For this year’s awareness event, NYEE orthoptists want to highlight the role of eye muscle disorders in adult patients. Orthoptists work with patients of all ages, but are usually recognized for their expertise in the assessment of vision in children and in the field of pediatric vision screening. However, a large percentage of adults experience an eye muscle disorder at some point in their lives that may require specialized evaluations and treatments.

“In adults, binocular vision problems, or problems seeing with both eyes, occur in conjunction with problems related to other acquired ophthalmic issues, such as cataracts,” said Sara Shippman, CO, Director, Orthoptics Service at NYEE. “Binocular/ problems) caused by systemic and neurological problems are also very prevalent in the aging adult population.”

Over the last several decades, orthoptists have also expanded their role and not only specialize in eye movement disorders but are also involved in the care of patients with other age-related eye disease such as cataracts, glaucoma, diabetic eye disease, age related macular degeneration,  systemic or neurological vision disorders and low vision.

Early detection and regular monitoring eye muscle disorder is important as many conditions can be prevented from progressing and becoming a threat to the person’s sight. Adults should have regular eye checks for glaucoma, diabetic eye disease and cataract to help prevent long-term issues.

Experts Available for Interview:

  • Sara Shippman, CO, Director, Orthoptics Service, New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai

Patient Available for Interview:

  • Jonathan Good, a Westchester County resident, had 20/20 vision all his life until a simple eye infection started a cascade of vision issues, ultimately leaving him with binocular visions (double vision). After years of treatment, he continued to be frustrated when additional surgeries and eye glass prescriptions didn’t help. After being treated at the NYEE Orthoptics Service, Mr. Good says his vision has improved and a weight has been lifted from his shoulders. He is back to enjoying leisure activities such as golfing and working with computers.

For more information on orthoptics services at NYEE, please visit http://www.nyee.edu/patient-care/ophthalmology/pediatric.

View A Patient's Perspective on Diplopia (Double Vision) video

About the Mount Sinai Health System

Mount Sinai Health System is one of the largest academic medical systems in the New York metro area, with more than 43,000 employees working across eight hospitals, over 400 outpatient practices, nearly 300 labs, a school of nursing, and a leading school of medicine and graduate education. Mount Sinai advances health for all people, everywhere, by taking on the most complex health care challenges of our time — discovering and applying new scientific learning and knowledge; developing safer, more effective treatments; educating the next generation of medical leaders and innovators; and supporting local communities by delivering high-quality care to all who need it.

Through the integration of its hospitals, labs, and schools, Mount Sinai offers comprehensive health care solutions from birth through geriatrics, leveraging innovative approaches such as artificial intelligence and informatics while keeping patients’ medical and emotional needs at the center of all treatment. The Health System includes approximately 7,300 primary and specialty care physicians; 13 joint-venture outpatient surgery centers throughout the five boroughs of New York City, Westchester, Long Island, and Florida; and more than 30 affiliated community health centers. We are consistently ranked by U.S. News & World Report's Best Hospitals, receiving high "Honor Roll" status, and are highly ranked: No. 1 in Geriatrics and top 20 in Cardiology/Heart Surgery, Diabetes/Endocrinology, Gastroenterology/GI Surgery, Neurology/Neurosurgery, Orthopedics, Pulmonology/Lung Surgery, Rehabilitation, and Urology. New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai is ranked No. 12 in Ophthalmology. U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Children’s Hospitals” ranks Mount Sinai Kravis Children's Hospital among the country’s best in several pediatric specialties.

For more information, visit https://www.mountsinai.org or find Mount Sinai on FacebookTwitter and YouTube.