Pediatric ophthalmology is a sub-speciality of ophthalmology concerned with eye diseases, visual development, and vision care in children.
Eye problems in children
Children experience a variety of eye problems, many quite distinct from adult eye diseases. Pediatric ophthalmologists are specially trained to manage the following disorders: Infections (Conjunctivitis).
Strabismus is a misalignment of the eyes that affects 2-4% of the population; it is often associated with amblyopia. The inward turning gaze commonly referred to as "crossed-eyes" is an example of strabismus. The term strabismus applies to other types of misalignments, including an upward, downward, or outward turning eye.
Amblyopia (aka lazy eye) occurs when the vision of one eye is significantly better than the other eye, and the brain begins to rely on the better eye and ignore the weaker one. Amblyopia affects 4% of the population and is clinically diagnosed when the refractive error of one eye is more than 1.5 diopters different from the other eye (anisometropia) or one of the eye is misaligned for a long period of time (Strabismus). The management of amblyopia involves correcting of significant refractive errors and using techniques that encourage the brain to pay attention to the weaker eye such as patching the stronger eye (occlusion therapy).
Blocked tear ducts, Ptosis, Retinopathy of prematurity, Nystagmus, Visual inattention, Pediatric cataracts Pediatric glaucoma, Abnormal vision development, Orbital tumours.
Genetic disorders often cause eye problems for affected children. Since approximately 30% of genetic syndromes affect the eyes, examination by a pediatric ophthalmologist can help with the diagnosis of genetic conditions. Many pediatric ophthalmologists participate with multi-disciplinary medical teams that treat children with genetic syndromes. Congenital malformations affecting vision or the tear drainage duct system can be evaluated and possibly surgically corrected by a pediatric ophthalmologist.
Refractive errors such as myopia (near-sightedness), hyperopia (far-sightedness) and astigmatism can often be corrected with prescriptions for glasses or contacts. Accommodative insufficiency, Convergence insufficiency and asthenopia, Evaluation of visual issues in education, including dyslexia and attention deficit disorder.
Pediatric ophthalmologists often work in conjunction with orthoptists in the treatment of strabismus.
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.
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.
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The Ophthalmologist: Clinical and Therapeutic Journal