What is a Paediatric Ophthalmologist?
A paediatric ophthalmologist is a consultant ophthalmologist who has specially trained several years above their general ophthalmology training, in the area of children’s eye problems. Mr Ashwin Reddy is the Paediatric Ophthalmologist at Clinica London who specialises in general eye problems in children, squint, amblyopia, and retinoblastoma.
He looks after children who are aged 16 or less who may have a lazy eye, a squint (strabismus), double vision, have a retinopathy of prematurity or a problem with their retina such as retinoblastoma. He will, with his orthoptists Gina Harris and Joe McQuillan, assess your child at Clinica London and then if any surgery is required, he will do that at the Portland Hospital as children’s surgery has to be done under a general anaesthetic with a paediatric anaesthetist, usually as a day case.
Mr Ashwin Reddy will follow up children for several years while their vision is developing, in order to ensure that their vision is optimal, check their glasses by cycloplegic refraction if they are less than seven years old and advise on patching for a lazy eye. He is trained specifically to examine children and has the patience and kindness required in order to get the best possible assessment out of your child to find out what is wrong with their eyes and then treat them. He could not do this by himself, and he works within the team with his orthoptists and the Clinica London nurses. His clinics are on Thursday afternoon at Clinica London.
Your child will first see the orthoptist who will measure the vision and determine whether there is a squint or reduced vision in one or both eyes. Then your child will see the nurse who will dilate the pupils, and after that have the assessment by Mr Ashwin Reddy who will make the diagnosis. He will advise on whether they require treatment, for instance with glasses, patching, eye exercises, surgery, or whether there is absolutely nothing wrong with your child and reassure you that their eyes are normal or they just had a pseudo squint and that their vision is developing well.
If you think that your child’s eyes are not developing well because there is a hint of a squint, a droopy eyelid, a lazy eye or they have a head tilt or turn, or if one eye appears to look cloudy or have a white patch where the pupil should be, then it is essential that they are assessed by the paediatric ophthalmologist as there maybe a more serious pathology that has to be treated.
Fortunately, serious pathologies are rare and the most common thing is that your child probably has good vision that is developing.