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

NEW YORK, June 1, 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.

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About New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai
New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai (NYEE) is one of the world's leading facilities for the diagnosis and treatment of all diseases of the eyes, ears, nose, and throat, as well as related conditions. Founded in 1820 as the nation's first specialty hospital, NYEE manages more than 30,000 surgical cases and 225,000 outpatient visits per year. NYEE is regularly ranked as one of the best hospitals in America for Ophthalmology, according to U.S. News & World Report, and has been awarded Magnet status twice for excellence in nursing care.

About the Mount Sinai Health System
The Mount Sinai Health System is an integrated health system committed to providing distinguished care, conducting transformative research, and advancing biomedical education. Structured around seven member hospital campuses and a single medical school, the Health System has an extensive ambulatory network and a range of inpatient and outpatient services—from community‐based facilities to tertiary and quaternary care.

The System includes approximately 6,600 primary and specialty care physicians, 12‐minority‐owned free‐standing ambulatory surgery centers, over 45 ambulatory practices throughout the five boroughs of New York City, Westchester, and Long Island, as well as 31 affiliated community health centers. Physicians are affiliated with the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, which is ranked among the top 20 medical schools both in National Institutes of Health funding and by U.S. News & World Report. For more information, visit http://www.mountsinai.org, or find Mount Sinai on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

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