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Treating eye problems in children

Moorfields Private offers a wide range of eye treatments to children who are seen at our dedicated Richard Desmond Children’s Eye Centre, one of the largest specialist children’s ophthalmology centres in the world. Here is our quick guide to the service.

Why choose Moorfields Private for your child’s eye treatment?

Your child will be seen by a team of experts who are at the top of their field and trained to work with children, know how to get the best out of them and for them. This includes our world-leading consultants, allied professionals such as orthoptists, optometrists and nursing teams. Many of our orthoptists and optometrists are active in vision research projects. Our orthoptists are specifically trained in assessing vision and motility in children. They are very skilled at gently taking children through the assessment, there can be only a small window of opportunity. For our young patients, we provide welcoming and child-friendly environment as well as access to world-class facilities, equipment and specialist expertise.

What are the particular challenges associated with treating children?

Children are not little adults, and their assessment can be a creative process involving kneeling down to their level, playing with them, using tips and tricks to successfully get them to cooperate with their examination. A lot of the time our young patients do not realise they are being examined.

It is important to know that the connections between the eyes and the visual cortex in the brain develop up to the age of 7 or 8. Therefore, it is crucial that any potential disruptions of this developmental process, potentially leading onto vision problems, get picked up before that, for the best chance of their correction.

What to expect when a child comes to Moorfields Private for a consultation or treatment?

We offer longer initial appointments of up to 60-90 minutes, so families don’t have to rush. The first person the child will see is our orthoptist who evaluates their vision, no matter what age they are, assessing their eye movements as well as whether they have an ability to use their eyes together.

If relevant, the child will also be assessed for a refractive error to establish if they have a need for glasses. That may not be known prior to them coming to their appointment. A large proportion of children under the age of 5 won’t have seen an optician. This assessment can involve using dilating drops to get accurate results.

So, when the child is then seen by a consultant, they have all that information readily available and taken into consideration when examining the child’s eyes, assessing their eye health as well as talking to the parents and getting the child’s medical history. Your child will usually be treated by the same consultant and their team at every step of their care, from initial tests through to their treatment and follow-up check-ups. Should your child require a surgery, then a subsequent referral to a consultant able to offer this may be needed.

Whatever your child’s eye condition is, either a common problem such as lazy eye (amblyopia), squints (strabismus), and watery eye, or a complex disease, we have the unrivalled expertise, technology and facilities to improve your child’s eye health.

Hancox, Jo

Written in association with

Miss Joanne Hancox

Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

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