Pediatric ophthalmology is the branch of ophthalmology that is concerned with development and care of the vision for children and also how to avoid eye diseases in the growing years of a child. There are many diseases can impair damage or permanently affect vision in children. Moreover, children, if not develop in the later years can be born with congenital glaucoma, tumors (orbital), cataracts, Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP) and other such problems. According to a World Health Organization report of 2009, estimates of 12 million children who are below the age of 15 are born blind. The research from middle-income to low-income countries is more staggering with around 1.4 million children who are blind live among the poorest and least developed nations of Asia and Africa.
The importance of Pediatric Ophthalmology
These issues make it absolutely essential to address and correct them in the newborn babies. The importance of this is paramount because even before a child is able to speak for the first time the optic nerve which is a connecting nerve between the eye and the brain are usually in the development stage after the child’s birth during the immediate six month period. This is why any disease that has a chance of developing needs to nipped in the bud and treated immediately. A pediatric ophthalmologist needs to see whether a child can see or whether he or she needs glasses (contact lenses or otherwise) as strabismus where the alignment of the eyes are not proper (known more commonly as cross-eyed) and amblyopia which is very common in children can be corrected using glasses.
Specialty of Pediatric Ophthalmology
Pediatric Ophthalmology sets its boundaries based most importantly according to the age (hence the usage of the terminology ‘pediatric’) and not the clinical conditions of its patients. It is important to separate the children from the adults as it is important for the Pediatric Ophthalmologists to diagnose the treat the issues separately. The use of a friendly environment by the doctors is important to ensure the appropriate and sensitive care of children which they deserve.
Role played by a Pediatric Ophthalmologist
Pediatric ophthalmologists play a vital role in not only correctly diagnosing the issue with respect to the child’s eye but also eliminating the problem with or without the use of surgery. It is seen that many children who have eye diseases may also be suffering from other health issues. Therefore a pediatric ophthalmologist must have constant communication with the child’s pediatrician as well as other doctors from the disciplines who are taking care of the child. Ophthalmologists should, therefore, be engaged in research and educational activities in addition to the clinical and surgical care that they need to provide to their young patients
Better Vision for our children’s future
The problem’s relating to a child’s vision begin not only from his or her birth but the negligence of which has long term effects and is one of the leading causes of blindness. Thus pediatric ophthalmology is an important subspecialty and should be dedicated to the special care of children and young adults. The object of eye hospitals in general and pediatric ophthalmologists, in particular, should be to diagnose, treat and deliver the best eye care for children