Pediatric Eye Care & Surgery
You want your child to have the best possible view of the world. At UNC Children’s, your child will get expert medical and surgical eye care from ophthalmologists who specialize in treating kids from birth through young adult.
Medically Trained Pediatric Eye Experts
When you choose UNC Children’s and the UNC Kittner Eye Center, you’ll find complete eye care from board-certified pediatric ophthalmologists—medical doctors (MDs) with advanced training to diagnose, treat and manage all types of eye conditions.
Because our physicians specialize in treating kids, they have specific knowledge of children’s visual development and are adept at detecting problems that a baby or young child can’t yet describe. They’ll explain your child’s eye disease in clear terms and help you understand treatment options, so your child gets the best visual outcome possible.
What We Treat
Optical Conditions We Treat
Rely on our “eye MDs” for treatment of all eye problems and conditions affecting children, including:
- Abnormal visual development
- Amblyopia (lazy eye) – Reduced vision in one eye caused by the eye and the brain not working well together
- Blepharitis – Inflammation or infection of the eyelid
- Cataracts – Clouding of the normally clear lens inside the eye
- Chalazia – Bump in the eyelid • Diplopia (double vision) – Seeing two of a single object
- Eye infections, including conjunctivitis (pink eye)
- Eye injuries
- Eye tumors, including retinoblastoma (cancer of the retina)
- Genetic eye conditions
- Glaucoma – Diseases that damage the eye’s optic nerve
- Nasolacrimal duct obstruction (blocked tear duct) – Buildup of tears or discharge due to a blocked pathway between the eye and the nose
- Ptosis – Droopy eyelid
- Refractive errors – Difficulty focusing due to the shape of the eye
- Astigmatism – Objects appear blurry and stretched out
- Hyperopia (farsightedness) – Distant objects are clear but nearby objects are blurry
- Myopia (nearsightedness) – Nearby objects are clear but distant objects are blurry
- Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) – Abnormal development of blood vessels in the retina of a premature infant
- Strabismus (eye misalignment) – Two eyes don’t line up
- Estropia (crossed eyes) – One or both eyes turn inward
- Extropia (walleye) – One or both eyes turn outward
- Hypertropia and hypotropia – One eye is higher or lower than the other
- Uveitis – Swelling and irritation in the middle layer of the eye (uvea)
Eye Care Services & Treatments
If your child is inpatient at N.C. Children’s Hospital, a pediatric ophthalmologist may be part of his or her care team. If surgery is part of his or her care plan, s/he will be scheduled for an appointment at N.C. Children’s Hospital or UNC’s Ambulatory Care Center, also located on the UNC medical campus. Outpatient evaluations are available at the UNC Kittner Eye Center.
From vision services to surgical treatments, you’ll benefit from a full range of optical care for children. Our comprehensive services include:
- Eye exams and vision assessments
- Glasses and contact lens prescriptions
- Vision therapy – Exercises to improve eye function
- Prescription medications for eye infections, chalazia and other conditions
- Surgical procedures o Probe and irrigation for blocked tear ducts
- Eye muscle surgery for strabismus
- Cataract extraction
Advanced Ophthalmic Diagnostics & Imaging
You can count on an efficient, accurate diagnosis of your child’s eye condition, because our eye specialists use the latest noninvasive vision and imaging tests and technologies for children. Ask about:
- Electroretinography – Detects disorders of the retina by measuring its electrical response to light
- Fluorescein angiography – Shows blood flow in the eye by taking pictures after a special dye has been injected into a vein in the arm
- Optical coherence tomography (OCT) – Uses light waves to create a cross-sectional picture of the retina
- Retcam – Captures high-quality images of the inside of the eye
- Video indirect ophthalmoscope – Allows you to view high-quality images of your child’s retina on a computer screen during your child’s exam
- Visual field test – Checks your child’s peripheral vision
Adaptive Technology for Kids
If your child experiences vision loss, adaptive technology can allow him or her to read for pleasure, complete school assignments independently, use a cell phone and more. Enjoy individualized attention from trained professionals and explore a complete line of adaptive devices and services at the Community Low Vision Center on the second floor of the UNC Kittner Eye Center.
The center is part of a partnership with A Brighter Path Foundation, a nonprofit that improves overall quality of life by developing personal independence.
UNC Optical Shop
Get expert assistance selecting the best frames and lenses for your child at the UNC Optical Shop, located on the second floor of UNC Kittner Eye Center.