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Weill Cornell Medicine Ophthalmology offers comprehensive vision services for pediatric patients and adults with strabismus. Some conditions, such as amblyopia, are diagnosed and treated exclusively by a pediatric ophthalmologist; others require more of a team approach, with input from orthoptists, optometrists, and other specialists at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell. Our ophthalmology department has close relations with pediatric neurologists, neuro-radiologists, otolaryngologists, and neonatologists, providing a continuity of care for any child with issues related to eyes and vision. Child-friendly physicians and staff, up-to-date diagnostic equipment and surgical techniques, and state-of-the art facilities all help us in our mission to provide excellent care for you or your child.
What is a Pediatric Ophthalmologist?
A pediatric ophthalmologist is an ophthalmologist who has undergone additional training in order to understand and treat the eyes and developing visual system of infants and children. In addition, because the surgical techniques involved in treating strabismus (muscle problems of the eyes) are best learned in a pediatric ophthalmology fellowship, these physicians often treat adult strabismus as well.
Which children should be seen by an ophthalmologist?
• Children with parents or siblings with certain eye conditions, such as strabismus or amblyopia
• Children with certain medical conditions, such as diabetes, blood problems, metabolic problems, and genetic diseases like neurofibromatosis
• Children with poor vision, eye pain, changes in the shape or size of an eye, crossed or wandering eyes, or an abnormal appearance to the pupil of one or both eyes can all be signs of serious eye conditions and should be evaluated by a physician.
Common Pediatric Eye Problems
Children can get almost every kind of eye disease that adults get, from glaucoma to retinal detachments. However, the most common reasons for a referral are amblyopia and strabismus. Other commonly treated conditions in children are lacrimal duct obstructions, congenital cataracts, and blurry vision. Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) is a special condition that is treated in conjunction with our retina service.
What takes place during a pediatric eye examination?
It is possible to learn much about a child's eye from an examination, even when the child is too young to read a wall chart. All eye examinations include an assessment of visual function, and an inspection of the eyes with a hand-held light or microscope. During an initial visit at Weill Cornell Medicine Ophthalmology, even if your child has been seen by another eye doctor previously, every child will have his or her pupils dilated. As with an adult eye examination, dilating drops require 30 minutes to take effect, and will blur your child's vision to a mild degree for several hours. The pupils will be visibly dilated, sometimes for the rest of the day.