YOUR PEDIATRIC EYE CARE SERVICE IN FAIRBANKS

Here at Eye Clinic of Fairbanks, we care for the whole family. Pediatric vision care for children is also available at our practice. If you'd like to schedule an appointment with our professional eye care professionals, please don't hesitate to contact us. We're open Monday through Saturday at your convenience. 

pediatric optometrist, pediatric eye care, kid eye doctor, family eye exam
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Pediatric Eye Care:

It is recommended to bring your child in for their first eye exam at six months of age, or sooner if at any time you or their pediatrician have any concerns about their vision or eye health. At the Eye Clinic of Fairbanks, our top priorities are our young patients’ safety, comfort, and most importantly eye health. That is why our Clinic is staffed by a friendly team committed to making your child’s experience with us a pleasant one. We will take the time to walk you through each step of the way, whether your child is having a comprehensive eye examination or receiving highly specialized ophthalmologic care. Our Optical department is also well stocked with frames for all ages of patients including infants and we accept Denali Kid Care as well as other type of insurances.

Pediatric Eye Surgery:

When your child needs pediatric eye surgery, high quality care is of the utmost importance. The Eye Clinic of Fairbanks ophthalmologists are experienced eye surgeons who use advanced pediatric eye surgery procedures to treat and repair children’s eye problems. Pediatric eye surgery is often times done on an outpatient basis, so in many cases, your child may not have to stay overnight in the hospital.

Good preparation can help kids feel less anxious about the anesthesia and surgery and get through the recovery period faster. The key is to provide information at your child’s level of understanding and get rid of fears. Help your child to understand why the surgery is needed and become familiar with the surgery facility and some of the procedures they will undergo. If a parent or caregiver is anxious and nervous, the child will often reflect these feelings and behaviors. So educate yourself, feel comfortable with the process, and make sure all your questions are answered.

Some of the most common types of eye surgery performed for kids are correcting blocked tear ducts, strabismus and amblyopia, eye injuries, retinopathy of prematurity, and removal of eyelid and orbital lesions or cysts.


 

 

Pediatric Eye Conditions:
 

Tear duct obstruction: 

Many babies are born with an underdeveloped tear-duct system, a problem that can lead to tear-duct blockage, excess tearing, and infection. Blocked tear ducts are common in infants; as many as one third may be born with this condition. Fortunately, more than 90% of all cases clear up by the time children are 1 year old with little treatment.  If your baby’s eyes tear excessively, give us a call as early treatment of a blocked duct may prevent the need for surgery. If your baby still has excess tearing after 6-8 months of age, develops a serious infection, or has repeated infections, the doctor may recommend that the tear duct be opened surgically, which is generally done on an outpatient surgery basis under general anesthesia. The procedure is fairly quick and there’s very little, if any, discomfort afterwards.

Strabismus & amblyopia:
 

When detected early on, strabismus is curable through a variety of safe and effective treatment options. But it’s important for kids to see an eye doctor early on as waiting too long or overlooking treatment completely can lead to permanent vision loss. Strabismus is the misalignment of one or both eyes, either crossing inward, wandering outward, up, or down. The condition can be constant or only noticed occasionally when the child is tired or looking at something very close up. When eyes are misaligned, one of the eyes becomes dominant and one eye becomes weak and does not focus properly. The connection to the brain is then not formed correctly, and if left untreated the brain will eventually suppress or ignore the image from the weaker eye resulting in amblyopia or permanent vision loss. Most kids are diagnosed by 4 years of age. Rarely, a child might develop strabismus for the first time after 6 years of age, however, if this happens it is important to contact your doctor immediately to rule out any underlying conditions that may be causing the problem. Treatment options for strabismus to discuss with your doctor may include eye glasses, eye patching, eye drops, and/or eye muscle surgery.

Retinopathy of prematurity: 


Retinopathy of prematurity is a condition that may occur in premature babies. It causes abnormal blood vessels to grow in the retina. This growth may cause the retina to detach from the back of the eye leading to blindness. Some cases of ROP are mild and require little or no treatment, but others require surgery to prevent vision loss or blindness. Surgery involves using a laser or other means to stop the growth of the abnormal blood vessels. Should your baby need treatment for ROP, our ophthalmologist will describe the procedure and whether it will be performed while the child is under general anesthesia or deep sedation, as well as answer your questions.

Eyelid & orbital lumps and bumps: 


Should you notice any lumps or bumps on your child’s eye, eyelids, or orbital area it is advised that you call and schedule an appointment with your doctor to have them examined. The most commonly seen lumps and bumps on the eyelids and orbit area of children are chalazion cysts and styes which form when the glands of the eyelid become backed up forming a pea-sized knot, or cyst. The cyst or stye may dissolve on its own or it may become spontaneously inflamed and get bigger. Treatment usually consists of warm compresses and antibiotic eye drops or ointment. If conservative treatment methods don’t work, you may consider surgically removing the chalazion if it becomes absolutely necessary. For other types of common lumps and bumps, some children may be born with and develop a dermoid tumor in or around the eye, and these tumors are usually comprised of a greasy non-cancerous tissue such as skin, hair, and or fat. These type of cysts can generally be removed on an outpatient surgery basis.

Infantile cataracts: 


Some babies are born with congenital cataracts, which means the eye’s natural lens is cloudy instead of clear. Vision could be hampered to the extent that cataract surgery becomes necessary to remove the child’s natural lens as it’s important for your baby to be able to see clearly for normal infant vision development. The procedure is usually performed on an outpatient basis and while your child is under general anesthesia. Your doctor will discuss with you the treatment options that are available, what the best timing for the treatments are so that your child can continue to grow with vision development, and answer any questions or concerns you have. Your child’s comfort and best visual outcome are always our priority.

Eye injury: 


Eye injuries are among the most common preventable causes of blindness. So when in doubt, err on the side of caution and give us a call for help.

Some routine irritations may consist of sand, dirt, or other foreign bodies on the surface of the eye or stuck under an eyelid. Sometimes a particle may scratch the eye, or your child may develop an infection in the eye.  If present, a foreign body may need to be removed by a doctor if it does not come out with flushing the eye.

Black eyes and blunt injuries or often times a minor injury. But this bruising can be the result of a significant eye injury or head trauma. A visit to our office might be needed to rule out serious injury, particularly if you aren’t sure what caused the black eye, there is increased redness, drainage from the eye, or the child is in pain.

An embedded foreign body or an object that penetrates or enters the globe of the eye requires an immediate call for medical help. Keep your child and yourself as calm and comfortable as possible until help arrives. Do not attempt to remove the object yourself.

Many chemicals, even those found around the house, can damage an eye. If your child gets a chemical in the eye flush the eye immediately with water for 20-30 minutes and call for emergency medical help. Be prepared to give the exact name of the chemical if you have it.

Evaluation under anesthesia: 


An exam under anesthesia (EUA) is an examination of a patient, often times a child that is unable to tolerate a complete eye exam in the regular office setting due to the patient’s age, developmental level, or level of cooperation, while he or she is under anesthesia. In this case, the exam is performed on the eyes. Before your child undergoes an EUA your doctor may require a clearance for anesthesia from your children's pediatrician. Your doctor and hospital will give you complete instructions prior to the EUA. During an EUA, some of the most common procedures that take place are dilation of the eyes, external examination of both eyes, internal examination of both eyes, drawings of the involved eye, possible photographs of the eye(s), and possible ultrasound or other diagnostic tests. Any necessary procedures will be performed only after prior discussion with the family. When the EUA is finished, your child will be taken to the Recovery Room and will remain there until fully awake. When your child returns from Recovery, they may be confused or upset. It is normal for a child to cry or be restless following an EUA. Many parents worry that the child is in pain. This is not usually the case. Generally, the child is reacting to the anesthesia wearing off, and your child may be a little disoriented during this time. Crying may actually assist in removing the anesthesia from your child's system and help make them more alert. The best thing you can do is to try to comfort your child and wait. Depending on what procedures are performed, your child usually will be ready to go home the same day.

 
 
 

Other Health Care Plans

We take a variety of health care plans including Vision Service Plan, Tricare and Denali Kid Care, Aetna, Blue Cross/Blue Shield. If you're curious as to whether your insurance plan works at our office, just ask! We take many more plans that are not listed here. 

Our Policies

We're happy to bill your insurance company for you. In order to do this, you need to be sure you bring your insurance card to each appointment. For our patients covered by Vision Service Plan (VSP), please let us know what your coverage is ahead of time so that we may take care of your visit's pre-authorization and ensure you have coverage for your glasses or contacts. 

What parents say about us:
“The staff have been great! We really appreciate the care and attention they have given to our baby. E.M.”