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Pediatric Ophthalmologist

What is a Pediatric Ophthalmologist?

A pediatric ophthalmologist is an ophthalmologist who has undergone further training to understand & treat the eyes and the developing visual system of infants and children. In addition, because the surgical techniques involved in treating strabismus (muscle problems of the eyes) are best learned in a pediatric ophthalmology fellowship, these physicians often treat adult strabismus as well.

Mumbai Eye Care offers comprehensive vision services for pediatric patients and adults with strabismus. Our ophthalmology department has close relations with pediatric specialists, providing a continuity of care for any child with issues related to eyes and vision. Our physicians and staff are trained well to handle children of all age group and are child-friendly. Our up-to-date diagnostic equipment and surgical techniques, and state-of-the-art facilities all help us in our mission to provide excellent care for your child.

Common Pediatric Eye Problems

Catract | Strabismus (crossed eyes, wandering eyes) | Nystagmus (shaking eyes) | Lacrimal duct obstructions (blocked tear ducts) Congenital malformations of the eye | Congenital optic nerve problems | Ptosis (droopy eyelid) | Amblyopia (lazy eye)

Pediatric catract

A cataract is a cloudiness of the lens of the eye, which is supposed to be crystal clear. Imagine if the clear lens of your camera just turned white. That's basically a cataract. Even if the lens just developed a white dot in the middle, it would still be a cataract. The whole lens needs to be taken out and replaced with a contact lens (for infants and very young children), or a clear plastic lens (for children who are older).
Around one in 5,000 children are born with a cataract. Taken together, congenital and acquired (developing later in life) cataracts occur in about 4 percent of children.

Causes of catract amongst children

Congenital (present at birth) cataracts occur when the lens didn’t form properly. Acquired cataracts are caused by abnormal interactions among the proteins that make up the lens. Over time, these abnormal interactions cause clumping, specks, opacities and/or cloudy areas to form.
About 25 percent of the time, congenital cataracts have a genetic cause, and may accompany a metabolic, hormonal or chromosomal abnormality (e.g., Down syndrome). Another 25 percent of the time, cataract is hereditary, which means that the child’s mom or dad also had a cataract in childhood.
Some possible causes of acquired catracts are:

  • Idiopathic (unknown),
  • Trauma to the eye,
  • Diabetes or another metabolic disease,
  • Steroid use,
  • Complications from other eye diseases,
  • Complications from treatment of other childhood diseases,
  • Radiation therapy after cancer


Parents occasionally notice a white pupil (or white dot in the pupil) in their baby's eye, but usually the primary care doctor notices it first. And doctors always check for cataracts in newborn babies, too.
It's certainly much more common for people to get cataracts as they age, but adults and children tend to have different types of cataracts. In kids, the lens clouds over because it didn’t form properly. In adults, a normal lens just gets old, hard and yellow and finally clouds over.
An eye with a cataract can’t provide visual information to the brain. If this occurs while the brain is ‘learning to see,’ it may end up ignoring that eye. And since vision occurs when the brain and the eye work together, due to this miss co-ordination; your child may not be able to see with that eye, even if the cataract is eventually removed. That’s why babies with a cataract should be referred to our pediatric cataract service for a surgery as soon as a cataract is discovered.
No – in some cases, the cataract may be just a dot in the middle of the lens with room for light to get around it. Figuring out whether a cataract needs to be removed requires lots of experience and expertise, so it’s crucial that your child be evaluated by a Pediatric Surgeon who has handled many cases of cataract amongst children.
Likely so. We often leave the eye a little farsighted to allow for it to grow, so most children will wear glasses for their absolute best vision.
Also, remember that the eye’s natural lenses can shift focus from distance to near, but implanted plastic lenses can only focus at one place. To compensate for this, we often put children in bifocals once they’re able to sit up. This helps them focus both up close and far away.
Probably not. Ultrasounds are used in cataract surgery for adults to break up hard lenses that are usually caused by aging. Most children don’t need ultrasound because their lenses are soft.
No – sometimes a cataract may be so small that your child perceives no blurriness at all. But one thing to keep in mind is that unlike your circulatory or respiratory system, your experience of your visual system completely depends on how you use it.
This is hard to predict – some cataracts progress, and some don’t. And sometimes a child’s vision might seem like it’s starting to worsen because her visual needs are changing, even if the cataract itself isn’t changing.
Preferably, within first two months or maximum by four months if it’s a dense cataract. The sooner we take out the cataract; your child will be able to develop better vision afterwards.
Cataracts can cause poor vision, and that means that the eye is more likely to wander, too. If this happens, we perform surgery on the eye muscles, or sometimes use Botox injections. Kids with cataracts also have a higher risk of developing high pressure in the eye (glaucoma). It may be treated with surgery or, in some cases, medicine.
Not really, although it’s important that kids wear eye protection when playing sports to lessen the chance of injury to the eye.

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