Your child's ability to see the world depends on healthy eyes. At Children's National Health System, our pediatric ophthalmologists are experts at diagnosing and treating complex eye problems, congenital disorders and rare eye conditions, such as strabismus, childhood cataract and glaucoma. We offer comprehensive care for patients of all ages, from newborns to young adults.
Ophthalmology at Children's National
Not all eye doctors are the same. Eye conditions that threaten your child's sight, such as retinopathy of prematurity, require the expertise of a well-trained and experienced pediatric ophthalmologist.
Our team includes board-certified ophthalmologists with advanced fellowship training who specialize in pediatric care. Our pediatric ophthalmologists are trained to recognize and manage eye diseases and disorders in children whose vision is still developing.
Features of our ophthalmology program include:
- Leaders in children's eye care. Our program at Children’s National Health System was the first hospital-based pediatric ophthalmology department in the nation. We have a long history working with complex eye conditions and are a recognized leader in the screening and treatment of strabismus, congenital cataract and glaucoma, and retinopathy of prematurity, a disorder that affects premature infants. Read in-depth information about common pediatric ophthalmology conditions.
- Precise diagnosis. Finding the best treatment for your child starts with an accurate and in-depth diagnosis. We are experts in recognizing rare and complex eye problems in newborns, infants and children.
- Expertise in rare disorders. Our pediatric ophthalmologists have extensive experience in the diagnosis and treatment of lens abnormalities and childhood cataract, a rare condition that affects only 0.4 percent of children and can be easily misdiagnosed. We are also among the few centers that manage infantile glaucoma, another rare but very serious eye disease.
- Specialized programs. Our team approach to care allows us to provide the most comprehensive program in the Washington, D.C., metro area, with several sub-specialized clinics:
- Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP)
- Pediatric Retina
- Orbital and Oculoplastics
- Ophthalmic Genetics
- Adult strabismus (misalignment of the eyes and double vision in adult patients)
- Network of care. If we determine your child has a less severe eye condition, our team will help connect you to a community specialist for a more appropriate level of care.
Strabismus Expertise at Children's National
Every year, our ophthalmology team treats thousands of children and adults with strabismus or misalignment of the eyes. That high volume allows us to develop expertise, not only in the common problems such as crossing (esotropia) and wandering (exotropia) of the eyes, but also in the most complex cases, such as:
- Hypertropias, vertical deviations where one eye is higher than the other
- Restrictive or paralytic forms due to orbital fractures, inflammatory disease, congenital anomalities, central nervous system disorders or other underlying conditions
- Cyclotorsion, where the patient perceives the world tilted
Each type of strabismus requires a different approach, and so does every patient. We use the results of a comprehensive eye exam and orthoptics evaluation to develop a personalized treatment specific to your child's age and diagnosis.
Surgery may be the best treatment option for some patients, with or without eyeglasses or patching. We take into account factors such as the type and severity of the strabismus and your child's age when making a recommendation. We will sit down and discuss the potential risks and benefits of surgery with you, so you can make the most informed choice. We schedule most evaluations and surgery on an outpatient basis.
Specialized Ophthalmology Programs at Children's
We emphasize a multidisciplinary approach to care. That means, our program includes a team of experts specialized in all aspects of eye care so we can provide the most comprehensive care possible.
- Neuro-Ophthalmology Program. Specializes in conditions involving the muscles and nerves that control eye function with one of the only dedicated pediatric neuro-ophthalmologists in the Washington, D.C., area
- Ophthalmic Genetics Program. Dedicated clinic for children and adults with inherited eye disorders
Vision Testing and Screening
At Children's National, we use the most advanced equipment and techniques for accurate diagnostic tests and screenings. A comprehensive eye evaluation takes about two hours. Your ophthalmologist may order one or several of the following tests:
- Anterior segment photography
- A-scan ultrasound biometry
- B-scan ultrasonography
- Corneal pachymetry
- Electrooculography (EOG)
- Electroretinography (ERG)
- External photography
- Fluorescein angiography (FA)
- Fundus photography
- Optical coherence tomography (OCT)
- Orthoptics evaluation
- Ultrasound biomicroscopy (UBM)
- Visual acuity assessment
- Visual field examination
For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call 202-476-3015.