Signs Your Child Should See a Pediatric Ophthalmologist or Retina Specialist
One question that our team of retinal specialists are often asked is when a child should see an eye doctor for regular exams.
A comprehensive timeline recommended by the American Academy of Ophthalmology of when children should be screened for both eye disease and vision (as they are two different things), can be found here.
These exams should be conducted by board-certified pediatric optometrists and ophthalmologists.
If a physician notices something unusual affecting the retina (which is the layer of tissue at the back of the eye), they may refer your child to a retina specialist.
Some symptoms that might indicate a serious eye problem include:
● Chronic eye discomfort or redness
● Discolored pupils
● Lack of eye contact, or inability to follow something with the eyes
● Alignment issues, such as crossed eyes
● Sensitivity to light
● Floaters or flashing light in vision
● Drooping eyelids
● Loss of vision
How are retinal disorders diagnosed in children?
“When your child is referred to our retinal specialists, we take special care to ensure they are never afraid and always comfortable during their visits with us,” says board-certified retinal specialist and surgeon Dr. Edward Wood.
“In order to properly diagnose what is causing the issue, we typically start with dilating their eyes to gain the best perspective while examining the retina and performing a full ophthalmologic evaluation.”
Specific diagnostics used to further investigate if your child has a retina condition may include: retinal photography, fluorescein angiography, Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT), ultrasound of the eye, visual fields (Goldmann or Humphrey), Electroretinogram (ERG), and CT scan or MRI imaging.
What pediatric retinal disorders do physicians at Austin Retina Associates diagnose and treat?
Conditions that our board-certified retinal specialists diagnose and treat in children are:
• Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP)
• Familial Exudative Vitreoretinopathy (FEVR)
• Coats’ Disease
• Uveitis, and other infectious retinal diseases
• Sickle Cell Disease
• Diabetic Retinopathy
• Inherited retinal dystrophies (i.e. leber congenital amaurosis)
• Degenerative retinal disorders (i.e. juvenile retinoschisis)
• Congenital malformations of the optic nerve and retina (i.e. coloboma)
• Trauma to the eye
• Retinal disorders that diagnose systemic disease (i.e. Aicardi Syndrome)
What is the treatment for retinal disorders in children?
The treatment of retinal disorders varies widely depending on the type of disease. The physicians at Austin Retina Associates are experts in identifying and treating retinal disorders in children, and many retinal treatments are modified with a gentler approach for the best possible care of infants and children.
As a reminder, for general eye exams and for vision screening or a glasses fitting for your child, see your pediatrician or pediatric optometrist first.
For concerns regarding the retina, Austin Retina Associates is always here for your family.