What patients and families need to know
Neurological complications in growing children can affect both sight and eye function. As your child’s eyes and vision develop, diagnosing related problems calls for special expertise. Neuro-ophthalmologists are medical doctors with advanced education and experience in evaluating and treating disorders of the eye and brain. They understand how complex nervous system conditions can contribute to vision problems.
The Neuro-ophthalmology team at Children’s National Hospital is a subspecialty program of Neurology (brain and nervous system), which works closely with the Division of Ophthalmology. It requires high-level skills in both medical specialties. Neuro-ophthalmologists understand how a child’s eyes function, including the muscles and nerves that control the eye.
Choosing the Neuro-Ophthalmology Program at Children’s National
The Neuro-ophthalmology team at Children's National includes experts who treat conditions such as unexplained vision loss, brain tumors or stroke that affect vision, as well as eye disorders and diseases. We have one of the only dedicated pediatric neuro-ophthalmologist teams in the Washington, D.C., area.
Features of the Neuro-ophthalmology Program at Children’s National include:
- Care from experts in different fields. From expert diagnosis to advanced treatments, we provide multidisciplinary care that enlists the skills of experts in many areas of medicine. Our neuro-ophthalmologists work closely with Children's National specialists from Ophthalmology, Neurology, the Rare Disease Institute, Neuropsychology, Neuro-Oncology and Radiology. Their collaborative expertise provides comprehensive care to children whose vision and eyes are affected by other conditions.
- Help for high-risk children. Our team screens children at risk for vision complications from a disease or disorder. Children with neurofibromatosis, a genetic nervous system condition, have a high risk for optic nerve and visual pathway disorders, including tumors. Our neuro-ophthalmologists serve on an interdisciplinary team in our Neurofibromatosis Institute – one of the nation’s leading centers for neurofibromatosis care.
- Family-centered support. Eye and vision disorders can be scary for families, too. We provide guidance, education and a shoulder to lean on for parents and families. Our family services team includes social workers, child life specialists and chaplaincy services staff during clinic appointments or hospital stays.
- Treatment-advancing research. We conduct multidisciplinary clinical research to improve the understanding of and care for eye and vision disorders associated with or caused by neurologic conditions.
We offer a full range of therapies including:
- Diagnostic testing
- Outpatient care
- Inpatient medical care
- Surgery, including minimally invasive procedures
Conditions We Treat
Our team treats children with a wide range of common and complex conditions, including:
- Brain tumor-related vision loss
- Ocular myasthenia gravis
- Central visual impairment
- Optic neuritis
- Cranial nerve abnormalities
- Optic nerve abnormalities (e.g., atrophy, drusen, hypoplasia, septo-optic dysplasia)
- Delayed visual maturation
- Papilledema (optic disc swelling)/pseudotumor cerebri (increased intracranial pressure)
- Double vision
- Pupil abnormalities (Horner’s syndrome, anisocoria, Adie’s pupil)
- Eye movement disorders
- Ptosis (drooping eyelids)
- Increased intracranial pressure
- Septo-optic dysplasia (early brain development disorder)
- Migraine-associated visual changes
- Vision assessments for children with seizures/epilepsy
- Mitochondrial-related eye disorders
- Visual field abnormalities
- Unexplained vision loss
- Nystagmus (shaking eyes)
Complex neurological, eye and vision conditions often involve more than one area of medicine. At Children’s National, our pediatric neuro-ophthalmologists work closely with experts from many specialties to evaluate and care for your child.
Areas of specialized services and care can include:
For more information, call us at 202-476-3611.