What is a pediatric ophthalmologist?
A pediatric ophthalmologist is a medical and surgical doctor who graduates medical school and specializes in the diagnosis, treatment, and management of eye problems in children. Neurologic and visual development occur throughout childhood and a pediatric ophthalmologist has the most experience managing eye conditions during this critical period. They can provide medical and/or surgical treatment for pediatric eye problems.
What eye problems can affect children?
The short answer is, children can develop any eye problem that an adult can develop. In addition, children can also have eye problems that are unique to childhood. Some eye conditions seen in the pediatric population include:
- Nasolacrimal duct obstruction (Blocked tear duct)
- Pediatric Cataracts
- Congenital anomalies
- Pediatric uveitis
- Pediatric ocular genetic disorders
- Ocular trauma
- Myopia (nearsightedness)
- Hyperopia (farsightedness)
- Eye infections
When does my child need to see a pediatric ophthalmologist?
When a child experiences eye issues or is referred to an eye care professional by their primary care doctor or pediatrician, seeing an ophthalmologist who specializes in pediatric eye care is recommended. Pediatric ophthalmologists have additional training, experience, and expertise in examining children of all ages. They will also be the most familiar with pediatric specific eye conditions.
You should see a pediatric specialist when your child fails a vision screening, when there is a medical history or family history that increases the risk of eye problems in childhood, or if there are concerns regarding a child’s eyes or vision.