When choosing an eye doctor for you child, it is important to choose one with advanced training in pediatrics. An optometrist who has been Residency-Trained in Pediatrics has both the knowledge and experience to care for your children. As you would expect, a child's eye exam is very different from an eye exam for an adult. In addition to being great with kids, Pediatric Optometrists use different tests and instruments that are age-appropriate for your child. For this reason, our Pediatric Optometrists can perform eye exams on children of any age, even if they do not know their letters or how to read.
A Residency-Trained Pediatric Optometrist is able to evaluate children of any age to determine the most appropriate treatment option. The wide variety of eye conditions that are present in the pediatric population required a variety of treatment options that include:
Contact Lenses: For certain conditions, contact lenses are the best treatment option even at a very young age. An optometrist with knowledge of pediatric eye conditions, who has been trained to fit pediatric contact lenses, will be able to determine if contact lenses are the best treatment option for your child.
Glasses: Glasses alone (or in combination with other treatment modalities) can be used to treat a number of conditions, including amblyopia (lazy eye) and strabismus (eye turn). Many eye turns can be corrected with glasses, making surgery unnecessary.
Vision Therapy: A pediatric eye doctor who does not offer vision therapy will be unable to adequately treat many conditions such as: amblyopia, strabismus, convergence insufficiency, accommodative insufficiency, and vision-related learning challenges. Vision therapy uses the concept of neuroplasticity to enhance neural functioning as it relates to vision, visual perception, and binocular vision skills (eye teaming abilities). To learn more about vision therapy, we recommend Advanced Vision Therapy Center.
Surgery: Surgical intervention is necessary is certain cases where other treatment modalities have failed or are inadequate. For example, when an eye turn cannot be managed with glasses, contacts, or vision therapy, a referral for strabismus surgery with a pediatric ophthalmologist can be made. When strabismus surgery is performed, it is recommended that vision therapy be performed prior to surgery as well as following surgery to enhance binocular vision function.
Strabismus surgery is used to cosmetically align the eyes so they no longer appear to turn (either in, out, up, or down). If surgery is performed without the use of vision therapy, binocular vision (eye teaming) skills have not been trained and it is likely that a binocular vision dysfunction will remain despite the eyes appearing “aligned”. The use of vision therapy will allow for a functional cure in addition to the cosmetic cure that surgery offers.