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Why Your Child Needs a Pediatric Ophthalmologist

When that buddle of joy finally arrives, everyone in the family bounces for joy. You've been waiting all these months — 9 months of pain, anxiety, and sometimes agony.

Now, all of that is behind you. But there's a ton of work ahead. Your baby fully depends on you for every need. And have you thought of having a pediatric ophthalmologist examine your child? You need to do that earliest you can. Why? Read on.

Seeing a Pediatrician isn't Always Enough

Smita was excited when she had her first baby. Karan was a cute little thing whose delicateness constantly reminded her of her new role as a mother.

When the child was about 2 months, she had a pediatrician perform the usual medical check-up. Everything was alright because the doctor said neither of the boy's eyes showed red reflex — whatever that meant. Also, the medical consultant's face didn’t show one bit of concern. All he said was that the "eyes are still developing."

But why did her pediatrician ask her to consult with a pediatric ophthalmologist? There had to be something beyond all the reassurances the doctor gave her. So, she scheduled an appointment with a children’s ophthalmologist.

A week down the road, she and her baby were waiting for their turn in the doctor's office. The doctor took the baby and meticulously examined his eyes using all sorts of lenses. The doctor, like all doctors, did her thing slowly and methodically. Her face looked calm. Was that a sign everything was all right? Perhaps.

After the examination, though, the doctor gave a verdict that was starkly different than the one she expected. She said, "You baby has bilateral congenital cataracts. She needs eye surgery soonest possible."

In the end, Smita was referred to another pediatric ophthalmologist, an expert that specialized in cataract surgery. Luckily, the surgery was successful. The operation removed the child's natural lenses, replacing them with artificial ones. And that was the end of it all, right?

Unfortunately, it wasn’t. The doctor ordered a second surgery. This time round, it was meant to take care of some scar tissue that grew after the first operation. Today, Karan wears glasses, and that's ok. And he needs to see the pediatric ophthalmologist twice a year. That costs money and time.

Are you a new parent that's never worn glasses your entire life? If yes, it's highly likely you've not considered having a pediatric ophthalmologist examine your child.

If you reflect on Smita's story, you'll see why you should see this specialist a few weeks after childbirth. What would have happened if her Pediatrician hadn't recognized the child's eye defect?

Who is a Pediatric Ophthalmologist?

This is a healthcare professional that specializes in children's vision-related problems. They examine children and carry out tests to detect vision issues. They strive to preserve and extend your child's vision for as long as possible.

What Kind of Training Do They Receive?

First off, pediatric ophthalmologists are medical doctors. They've attended medical school for at least 4 years. In addition, they’ve experienced a year of medical or surgical internship.

Apart from that, they've also received at least 3 years (additional) of residency in ophthalmology. Finally, they've done an additional 1 year of fellowship training in the same area.

What Kinds of Treatments Do They Offer?

These specialists diagnose, provide treatment for, and help manage all vision issues that affect kids. They perform eye exams, provide care for eye injuries, and perform surgery. They also diagnose and treat visual processing disorders as well as prescribe glasses or contact lenses.

Final Thoughts

Your baby counts on you for every need. Nourishing them, keeping them warm and comfortable, washing them, lulling them to sleep, health — they're counting on you.

It's important to have a pediatrician carry out a thorough examination on your child right off the bat. Also, visiting a pediatric ophthalmologist is critical. You won't know where your little one needs medical support unless you ask experts.

This article does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editors or management of EconoTimes.

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