What is a pediatric ophthalmologist?
Pediatric ophthalmology is a subspecialty of medicine and surgery. Physicians are trained to perform all aspects of medical care for children’s eyes and visual systems. Their training consists of medical school, internship, residency in ophthalmology, and subspecialty fellowship in pediatric ophthalmology and strabismus.
Straight eyes are not just for children. Adults with strabismus have multiple options to improve or correct the alignment of their eyes. Dr. Hein is board certified in ophthalmology with years of experience treating adults with strabismus and double vision.
The description below is from the American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus. Their official website provides a wealth of information regarding pediatric ophthalmology, including an excellent glossary of eye terms and conditions. Dr. Hein is a member of AAPOS and has contributed to these patient resources having served on the Public Information Committee.
“A pediatric ophthalmologist is a medical and surgical doctor (an Eye MD) who graduated from medical school and specializes in the care of children’s eyes. All ophthalmologists have training in children’s eye disorders. But, the pediatric ophthalmologist has additional training, experience, and expertise in examining children, and has the greatest knowledge of possible conditions that affect the pediatric patient and his/her eyes. Neurologic development of vision occurs up until approximately age 12 years. Misalignment of the eyes (strabismus), uncorrected refractive error (myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism), and asymmetry of refractive error (anisometropia) between the two eyes can negatively affect this development and cause amblyopia (“lazy eye”). If these conditions are diagnosed and treated early, good vision can develop and can be maintained. Certain diseases elsewhere in the body, such as diabetes, can affect the eyes. The pediatric ophthalmologist addresses these, as well."
Specialty training and expertise
Pediatric ophthalmologists are qualified to perform complex eye surgery as well as to manage children’s eye disorders using glasses and medications. Pediatricians, family physicians, optometrists and other ophthalmologists refer patients to a pediatric ophthalmologist for examination and management of ocular problems due to children’s unique needs. Not only are children referred for obvious eye and vision disorders, but also to further investigate neurologic, rheumatologic, infectious, metabolic and genetic conditions.