Ophthalmology What is Pediatric Ophthalmology?
Ophthalmology What is Pediatric Ophthalmology?
Pediatric Ophthalmology is a subspecialty of ophthalmology dealing with problems common to, or seen exclusively in, children.

Why is the pediatric eye different from an adult's?
The brain cells that control our vision are not fully developed, or mature, when we are born. These cells are developing throughout the first decade of life. Because of the immaturity of the child's visual system, disorders that may have little effect on an adult's ability to see can have a profound and life-long effect on a child's vision. Poor vision due to inadequate stimulation of these brain cells, amblyopia, is a common cause of loss of vision in this age group.

Problems seen in the pediatric age group
Some disorders are only seen in children. Other disorders, such as certain types of tumors, may not be found only in children, but may have different effects than when they occur in adults (for example, cataracts).

What is strabismus?
Strabismus is a misalgnment of the eyes. It includes crossed eyes (esotropia), out-turned eyes (exotropia) and other eye-muscle disorders. Because strabismus is treated so often by pediatric ophthalmologists, many pediatric ophthalmologists also treat adults with strabismus.

What is a pediatric ophthalmologist?
A pediatric ophthalmologist is a medical doctor who was first trained in diseases and surgery of the eye after finishing medical school. They then pursue further training in the diagnosis, treatment and surgery of those eye disorders that are unique to children.

What is a pediatric optometrist?
A pediatric optometrist is an eye care specialist who focuses in the care of children with basic eye care needs. They perform routine screening eye exams, examine children who fail vision screenings at school, fit children with contact lenses and treat amblyopia. The ophthalmologists and optometrists at Children's Mercy work together as a close team.

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