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Pediatric Ophthalmology: Eye Care for Kids

Posted by Illinois Eye Center on Dec 30, 2020 9:00:00 AM

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106106764_sOSF HealthCare Children’s Hospital of Illinois is excited to announce the opening of their new pediatric ophthalmology clinic. The clinic will open on January 11, and they are ready to start taking appointments. They require a referral from a primary care provider or other specialist in order to schedule an appointment. Medical insurance will only be accepted at this time. Call the clinic at (309) 308-3500 for more information.

Pediatric ophthalmology is a branch of medicine that focuses on diagnosing and treating eye problems in children. In other words, pediatric ophthalmology helps kids see well.

Pediatric ophthalmology helps children who are having trouble with a vision-screening exam, have difficulty reading or learning, or need medical treatment or surgery for an illness affecting their eyes.

Who are Pediatric Ophthalmologists?

Pediatric ophthalmologists are medical doctors who have completed at least four years of medical school, a year of medical or surgical internship, at least three additional years of residency training in ophthalmology, and at least one additional year of fellowship training in pediatric ophthalmology. This extensive training helps pediatric ophthalmologists diagnose, treat, and manage eye problems affecting children. These eye problems can include crossed eyes, weak eye muscles, “wandering eyes,” infections, blocked tear ducts, and issues involving the retina, which is the light-sensitive layer of tissue lining the back of the eye.

Pediatric ophthalmologists perform a wide variety of diagnostic services for children with eye problems, including eye exams to assess visual acuity and procedures that test how well a child’s eyes work together. They can diagnose health problems, such as juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA) or diabetes, which can affect the eyes. These specially trained eye doctors can also diagnose visual processing disorders, which interfere with the way the brain processes what the eyes see.

Pediatric ophthalmologists treat eye conditions in children. They provide care for eye injuries, for example, and can prescribe eyeglasses and contact lenses. These eye doctors can also perform surgery, microsurgery, and laser surgery on children’s eyes.

When should you Choose Pediatric Ophthalmology?

Optometrists, such as those employed by Illinois Eye Center, are a great option for vision screening exams as well as prescribing glasses and contacts in school-age children.  In fact, many children visit an optometrist to experience their first eye exam around age five as part of their required State of Illinois kindergarten eye exam.

Parents of children younger than five should contact their Pediatrician for a referral to a Pediatric Ophthalmologist rather than schedule an appointment with an optometrist or an Ophthalmologist geared toward adults. Furthermore, parents of children age five and older should consider Pediatric Ophthalmology for any concerns beyond needing glasses or contacts to correct straightforward issues such as difficulty seeing things far away.

Since pediatric ophthalmology focuses on children, the examination rooms, equipment and even the waiting rooms are kid-sized and kid-centric. As an added bonus, pediatric ophthalmologists know how to examine and treat children in a way that makes kids feel relaxed and more cooperative.

If you suspect your child has an eye issue, it’s crucial you schedule an eye exam immediately. Even if things seem okay, sticking to expert-recommended appointments and vision screenings will give your doctor a chance to identify problems you may not notice on your own.

OSF HealthCare Children’s Hospital of Illinois is excited to announce the opening of their new pediatric ophthalmology clinic. The clinic will open on January 11, and they are ready to start taking appointments. They require a referral from a primary care provider or other specialist in order to schedule an appointment. Medical insurance will only be accepted at this time. Call the clinic at (309) 308-3500 for more information.

Topics: Eye care, Pediatric Ophthalmology

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