Paediatric Ophthalmology

Paediatric Ophthalmology

If your child has an eye problem, is having difficulty with a vision screening exam or has difficulty reading or learning, or needs surgery or medical treatment for an illness affecting the eyes, a pediatric ophthalmologist has the experience and qualifications to treat your child.

Paediatric ophthalmology is a subspecialty of ophthalmology that concentrates on treating the various eye problems affecting children. Studies show that a lot of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and learning issues in children can be attributed to vision problems.

A pediatric ophthalmologist is a medical and surgical doctor (an Eye MD) who graduated from medical school and specializes in the care of children’s eyes. All ophthalmologists have training in children’s eye disorders, but the pediatric ophthalmologist has additional training, experience, and expertise in examining children, and has the greatest knowledge of possible conditions that affect the pediatric patient and his/her eyes. Neurologic development of vision occurs up until approximately age 12 years. Misalignment of the eyes (strabismus), uncorrected refractive error (myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism), and asymmetry of refractive error (anisometropia) between the two eyes can negatively affect this development and cause amblyopia (“lazy eye”). If these conditions are diagnosed and treated early, good vision can develop and can be maintained. Certain diseases elsewhere in the body, such as diabetes, can affect the eyes, and the pediatric ophthalmologist addresses these, as well.

What kinds of treatments do pediatric ophthalmologists provide?

Medical treatments:

⇔  Prescriptions for glasses and/or contact lenses.

⇔   Amblyopia (“lazy eye”) therapy including glasses, patching and pharmacologic treatment.

⇔   Topical and or/systemic therapy for eye infections, chalazia, glaucoma, blocked tear ducts, and inflammation on the eye or in the eye. Medicines include antibiotics, antivirals and steroids.

Surgical Procedures:

⇔  Probe and Irrigation for congenital nasolacrimal duct obstruction (blocked tear duct).

⇔  Excision of chalazia.

⇔  Eye muscle surgery for strabismus.

⇔  Pediatric cataract extraction including use of intraocular lenses (IOLs).

NOTE: Not all practitioners perform all medical and surgical treatments. Variability is due to the training, experience, and interest of the individual pediatric ophthalmologist. Additional treatments/surgeries performed by some include retinal examination and laser treatment of retinopathy of prematurity (ROP), surgical removal of pediatric orbital tumors/lesions, and surgery for glaucoma or ptosis (drooping eyelid) in the child.