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Paediatric Ophthalmology

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What is a Pediatric Ophthalmologist?

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 Types of Treatments Do Pediatric Ophthalmologists Provide?

Pediatric ophthalmologists can diagnose, treat, and manage all children’s eye problems. Pediatric ophthalmologists generally provide the following services:

  • Eye exams
  • Perform surgery, microsurgery, and laser surgery (for problems like weak eye muscles, crossed eyes, wandering eyes, blocked tear ducts, retinal problems, and infections)
  • Diagnose problems of the eye caused by diseases of the body such as diabetes or juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA) and other medical and neurological diseases
  • Diagnose visual processing disorders
  • Care for eye injuries
  • Prescribe eyeglasses and contact lenses