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Here we will take a look at some important information about a pediatric eye doctor and give you a better idea about what to look for when selecting one for your child.

When you think about taking your child to a doctor’s office, it is not unheard of for you and your child to be a bit nervous or anxious. There are things you can do to prepare the both of you for the visit and you can help yourself and the doctor by providing a clear and detailed account of how your child’s vision is and address any concerns you may have.

What Is A Pediatric Eye Doctor?

When the time comes to have your child’s eyes checked, you will need to ensure that you are seeing the right eye care practitioner for whatever your needs could be. Ophthalmologists, opticians and optometrists are each very different professions and each has a distinctive job function and plays a crucial role in providing eye care for patients.

Ophthalmologist

A pediatric ophthalmologist is a medical or osteopathic physician that specializes in vision and eye care. They are different than opticians and optometrists in training level and what they can treat and diagnose. As an MD who has completed college and at least eight additional years of medical training, these professionals are licensed to practice both medicine and surgery. An ophthalmologist can diagnose and treat all eye diseases and perform surgery, prescribe medications and fit eyeglasses and contact lenses.

When Should A Child Get Their First Eye Exam?

As part of a general physical examination, very young children will be given a routine screening eye exam by a pediatrician or neonatologist. The doctor will check to ensure a child’s eyes are properly aligned, to make sure there are no problems on the outside of the eye and to see how the pupils respond to changes in the light. A physician will also check for the quality of red reflex from the child’s pupil. Any abnormalities might be a sign of something being wrong with the child’s eye. If there is an issue found during an eye examination, a child will be referred to a pediatric ophthalmologist to be assessed.

Vision screenings like the ones using vision charts are used to determine how well a child can see forms and details of an object(s). In general, children between the ages of three and five years old should have a vision acuity test done.

There are some basic questions you may wish to ask your prospective pediatric ophthalmologist after he or she has examined your child and it could include any of the following:

  • What is the diagnosis? (If any)
  • What caused the issue?
  • Was your child born with this problem?
  • Is the condition genetically related?
  • What is the prognosis?
  • Is the condition stable? If not, will it become worse? Get better?
  • Is there any type of treatment for the condition?
  • Will glasses or contacts help?
  • Are there any other issues associated with this condition?
  • Can you tell how well the child will be able to see later on in life?
  • Are there any restrictions on your child’s activities?
  • What kind of lighting is best for your child?
  • What else should you know about the condition?
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