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Pediatric Neuro-ophthalmology

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Neuro-ophthalmology is a subspecialty within ophthalmology that addresses the connection between the eyes and brain. Doctors in this field diagnose and treat visual problems that begin in the eye socket, optic nerve or brain. In addition to training to become a medical doctor, neuro-ophthalmologists complete advanced fellowship instruction to understand how the brain and nervous system affect vision. Pediatric neuro-ophthalmologists further refine their knowledge to study how children’s eyes function, including the muscles and nerves controlling the eye.

At Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, part of the University of Miami Health System, our neuro-ophthalmologists look beyond the eye to diagnose and treat disorders of the optic nerve, brain and blood flow, as well as any metabolic issues affecting your child’s vision.

Neuro-ophthalmologic Conditions
Children’s eye and brain disorders cover a broad spectrum – from the common to complex. Some of the conditions we treat in children include:

  • Brain tumor-related vision loss
  • Delayed visual maturation
  • Double vision
  • Eye movement disorders
  • Ptosis (drooping eyelids)
  • Pupil abnormalities
  • Septo-optic dysplasia (early brain development disorder)
  • Unexplained vision loss
  • Vision issues associated with epilepsy or seizures

What are the Symptoms of Neuro-ophthalmologic Disorders?
Some neuro-ophthalmologic disorders appear at birth; others develop in early or late childhood. In infants and children, these problems hinder visual function and normal development. These conditions can create different symptoms, including:

  • Impaired eye movement
  • Unequal pupil size
  • Pupils that don’t contract in response to light
  • Unexplained vision loss
  • Double vision
  • Eyelid or facial spasms

Small children cannot always describe their symptoms. If you or your pediatrician think there may be a problem, contact a pediatric ophthalmologist. If a neurological problem is suspected, a neuro-ophthalmologist can then help determine the diagnosis.

Tests

A thoughtful, thorough evaluation lays the foundation for effective treatment. Using sophisticated diagnostic tools, our specialists work with physicians throughout UHealth to identify, treat and manage your child’s condition.

Our pediatric neuro-ophthalmologists invest the time to fully understand your child’s medical history and condition. Using the most current optical and brain imaging techniques, they arrive at a diagnosis and develop a personalized treatment plan. As part of a complete eye exam, your child may have several tests, including:

  • Electrophysiology tests
  • Cerebral angiography
  • Blood tests
  • Optical coherence tomography (OCT)
  • CT scan
  • MRI scan

Treatments

As part of your child’s comprehensive evaluation, our pediatric neuro-ophthalmology team develops a customized treatment plan. We offer a full range of outpatient and inpatient eye care services to improve your child’s vision. Depending on the eye condition, treatments may include:

  • Medication
  • Visual therapy aids
  • Specially fitted eyeglasses (such as prism lenses)
  • Minimally invasive surgery or traditional surgery

Why Choose Bascom Palmer Eye Institute?

The Nation’s #1 Eye Care Provider. When your child has a complex eye condition, you need highly skilled physicians who practice precision medicine. Add cutting-edge treatments and the resources of a university-based research facility, and you have a few of the reasons why U.S. News & World Report continues to rank us Number One in the nation for eye care.

Depth of Experience. For more than 45 years, our neuro-ophthalmologists have helped patients with challenging eye disorders, while building one of the world’s top neuro-ophthalmology departments. Annually, this dedicated team treats nearly 4,000 patients with eye and brain conditions.

Compassionate Patient and Family Support. Our eye care team is there for you and your child, sharing resources and offering support to reduce stress, increase your understanding of the condition and to guide you forward.

Multi-disciplinary Care for Complex Conditions. The power of UHealth means your child’s eye care team has access to thousands of medical professionals working across multiple disciplines. They partner on a shared goal: to help your child achieve the best possible vision.

Groundbreaking Research. Many of our physicians teach at University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and actively research the interrelationship between the brain and eyes. Using different MRI scanning methods, for instance, they can track changes in the brain’s processing centers that cause visual disorders.

Specialized Surgical Suites. If your infant or child requires a delicate eye surgery, you need to have complete faith in their surgical team. Our surgeons are some of the nation’s best and most experienced. They are supported by skilled pediatric nurses and pediatric anesthesiologists. The entire team works in operating suites outfitted with leading-edge equipment and technology.

Advanced Imaging Technology. Using the latest neuroimaging technology, we offer advanced diagnostic testing of the eyes and brain. We also have access to the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine diagnostic resources. This ensures an accurate diagnosis and guides your child’s medical team in creating a customized treatment plan.

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