A pediatric ophthalmologist will treat the underlying cause, if possible. They may prescribe a patch or eyedrops to use on the stronger eye. This forces the brain to rely on the weaker eye, reducing or preventing loss of vision.
What Is a Pediatric Ophthalmologist?
If your child’s eyes aren’t developing properly, early treatment is critical to restore and maintain good vision. They may need to see a pediatric ophthalmologist.
These doctors specialize in diagnosing and treating eye disorders in children. While all ophthalmologists have some training in children’s eye disorders, pediatric ophthalmologists have greater knowledge and experience in diagnosing and treating eye conditions common in children.
What Conditions Does a Pediatric Ophthalmologist Treat?
Pediatric ophthalmologists treat children with serious eye injuries or infections. They provide ongoing care for kids with eye problems that result from diseases like juvenile arthritis or Type 1 diabetes. Some common disorders they diagnose and treat include:
A cataract is a clouding of the lens of the eye, which is normally clear. They can be present at birth or develop at any time during childhood. A small cataract may not require treatment, but a pediatric ophthalmologist should keep track of your child’s vision. Some cataracts do impact vision. A pediatric ophthalmologist can surgically remove them.
About 4% of children under age 6 experience some form of strabismus, a condition in which the eyes point in different directions instead of working together. Both eyes may tend to drift outward or to the center, or one eye may turn out, in, down, or up. Early treatment by a pediatric ophthalmologist may correct strabismus and keep it from impacting vision development.
Pediatric cataracts and strabismus can both lead to amblyopia. This blurred vision in one or both eyes happens because the connection between your child’s brain and eye didn’t develop properly. The most common cause of amblyopia is a need for glasses that goes unnoticed in a young child. If one eye is stronger than the other, their brain may stop using the weaker eye.