Why Your Child Should See a Pediatric Eye Doctor
Children may experience some of the same eye problems found in adults; however, their care is often quite different. They may be too young to explain their symptoms or to sit patiently for exams. They benefit from being seen by eye doctors who are experienced in evaluating and caring for infants and children and who use advanced diagnostic, medical, and surgical techniques.
Many childhood eye conditions can be treated without surgery, and often interventions are as simple as wearing eyeglasses or an eye patch or using eyedrops. However, if childhood glaucoma, cataracts, retinoblastoma, or another serious pediatric eye disease is detected and medical intervention or surgery is needed, your child will receive care at Duke from respected leaders in pediatric ophthalmology. Our doctors train doctors to become pediatric eye care providers and eye surgeons. They lecture worldwide on the latest advances in pediatric eye care and engage in research to develop new and better treatments that are followed around the world.
Access to a Wide Range of Pediatric Eye Specialists
At Duke, your child has access to a wide range of eye specialists including:
- Ophthalmologists who are trained in the medical and surgical management of childhood eye conditions including amblyopia and strabismus, glaucoma, cataracts, and prematurity-related eye problems, among other rare conditions.
- Pediatric optometrists who perform regular eye exams using the latest diagnostic equipment to assess your child’s vision and eye health, screen for myopia and astigmatism, and prescribe glasses as needed.
- Strabismus surgeons and pediatric ophthalmologists who manage complicated eye muscle problems.
- Neuro-ophthalmologists who are experts in eye conditions that relate to or result from neurologic problems.
- Cornea specialists who manage vision-threatening corneal conditions.
- Inherited retinal disease and vitreoretinal specialists who have the training, skills, and resources to treat children with complex retinal and optic nerve diseases that affect vision.
- Oculoplastic surgeons who can perform surgery on the face, eyes, tear system, and facial structures surrounding the eye to improve your child’s appearance following cancer, trauma, or congenital defects or to resolve a less serious issue such as a blocked tear duct system.
Specialized Services for Pediatric Eye Diseases
Children are often anxious or impatient while waiting to see the doctor. Our child-friendly waiting room and clinical spaces are equipped with flat-screen television (with child-appropriate content) as well as space to move around. The environment is designed to reduce stress for the whole family.
Routine Eye Exams
Our pediatric optometrists specialize in assessing vision development and correcting vision problems in children. We check the health of your child’s eyes, screen for a full range of eye conditions, measure how well they see, and determine if they need glasses or contact lenses.
Specialty Contact Lenses
Pediatric specialty contact lenses can help improve vision, promote visual development, and improve the quality of life for children with certain eye conditions. Examples include:
- Irregular or scarred corneas from past corneal infection or trauma
- Very high glasses prescriptions or significantly different prescriptions in each eye (myopia, hyperopia, astigmatism)
- Corneal diseases including severe dry eye syndrome, graft-versus-host disease, limbal stem cell deficiency, Sjögren’s syndrome, neurotrophic keratitis, and Stevens-Johnson syndrome
Our pediatric optometrists have advanced training in determining the best type of specialty contact lens for your child. They will undergo a specialty contact lens fitting, and our technicians will teach your child – and you -- how to insert, remove, and care for the lenses.
Coordinated Care for Maximum Convenience
Our pediatric ophthalmologists, optometrists, and orthoptists (specialists in vision and eye movement problems) work closely together and with other pediatric specialists at Duke to manage your child’s eye care. If your child requires multiple visits for different eye disorders, we make every effort to coordinate their care and maximize your convenience.
We offer patient support services, including educational materials and programs and a vision rehabilitation program. Our social worker can help your family cope with and manage non-medical challenges related to your child’s condition.