About Pediatric Ophthalmology
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What is pediatric ophthalmology?
This is a sub-specialty of medicine that deals with diseases of the eye, vision care and visual development in infants, children, and adolescents.Why see a pediatric ophthalmologist?
In addition to the medical expertise needed to treat eye disease and disorders in children, pediatric ophthalmologists have further training in examining children. They also have the most knowledge of possible conditions that affect children.
They focus on the visual system’s development and a range of diseases that affect visual development in children. Pediatric ophthalmologists can perform complex surgical procedures of the eye. In other cases, they manage eye problems in children using medications and glasses.Training
Pediatric ophthalmologists are medical doctors who have completed 4 years of medical school, 1 year of internship, a 3-year residency program and at least 1-year fellowship in pediatric ophthalmology.Conditions treated
- Infections: Such as conjunctivitis
- Strabismus: This is a misalignment of the eyes which is commonly known as crossed eyes because of the inward turning gaze. It is often associated with amblyopia. Strabismus also applies to other misalignments such as downward, upward or outward turning eye.
- Amblyopia: This is when the vision in one eye is considerably better than the other eye. Amblyopia is also called a lazy eye.
- Refractive errors: These include nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia) and astigmatism.
- Retinopathy of prematurity
- Blocked tear ducts
- Pediatric cataracts
- Visual inattention
- Abnormal vision development
- Pediatric glaucoma
- Congenital malformations
- Orbital tumors
- Accommodative insufficiency
- Preferred head postures also referred to as torticollis
- Asthenopia and convergence insufficiency
- Evaluation of visual issues in education such as attention deficit disorder and dyslexia
Examinations done by pediatric ophthalmologists
Treatments provided by pediatric ophthalmologists include:
- Vision assessment: Different methods are used by pediatric ophthalmologists to test a child’s eyesight. The age is what determines which test will be used to assess vision.
- Motility examination: This test is required for effective planning of medical and surgical management of strabismus. It uses quantitative measurements of ocular misalignment.
- Determination of refractive error: This test is done after dilation to determine an objective measurement. It determines if there is a need for glasses and if so how strong they need to be.
- Biomicroscopy and dilated fundus examinations: This investigates the presence of eye diseases related to systemic diseases such as neurologic pathology, diabetes, genetic abnormalities, glaucoma, and cataracts.
- Examination under anesthesia (EUA): This is used to diagnose and treat children who are unable to get adequate examination or treatment in the doctor’s office.
- Medical treatments: these include medicines such as antibiotics, antiviral and steroids.
- Prescriptions for glasses
- Prescription for contact lenses.
- Amblyopia therapy
- Occlusion therapy: This involves using techniques which encourage the brain to pay attention to the weaker eye. It also corrects significant refractive errors.
- Topical therapy
- Systemic therapy
- Surgical Procedures: These include excision of chalazia, probe, as well as irrigation for congenital nasolacrimal duct obstruction also referred to as blocked tear duct, eye muscle surgery for strabismus and pediatric cataract extraction including the use of intraocular lenses.nts.
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