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Pediatric Optometrist

Work with children who have vision problems.

What does a Pediatric Optometrist do?

Although perfect eyesight should come with young age, some children, unfortunately, can’t see very well. Fortunately, they can see a Pediatric Optometrist for help. A Pediatric Optometrist is an Optometrist, or Eye Doctor, who specializes in juvenile patients.

When you’re a Pediatric Optometrist, your job is to diagnose and treat vision problems, just like a regular Optometrist. Those problems include nearsightedness, farsightedness, cataracts, astigmatism, and amblyopia or “lazy eye.” Like a Pediatrician to a Physician, the only major difference is your patients, most of whom are children.

That means you might work for a school district, testing students’ vision at school, although you most likely work for a private optometry practice or clinic. Regardless, your main responsibility is diagnostic vision exams, which have several components.

The first is physically examining the eye for signs of damage, such as squinting, redness, or swelling. The second is testing pupil functioning with a penlight. Next are a series of checks that test eye alignment, color vision, peripheral vision, and vision depth. Finally is the standard Snellen test, which tests visual acuity with an alphabetic chart.

As with adults, treatment options include glasses, contact lenses, and visual therapy — which you can prescribe — or medication and surgery, which must be prescribed by your Physican counterpart: an Ophthalmologist. The stakes, however, are often much higher than with adult patients, as healthy vision is crucial to children’s physical, mental, and social development.