Who Is A Children’s Optometrist?

children’s optometrist is, generally speaking, a doctor specialising in treating eye conditions and children’s eye health as children cannot visit any doctor. For all health-related problems, they have to visit a doctor who has trained himself to treat them. When the kids have eye-related issues, one must visit a child optometrist.

But an optometrist will refer a child to a children’s optometrist when he feels the child is required special care under a child doctor. In that case, he may have certain eye conditions that are best left for a child optometrist to take care of.

Qualifications That A Children’s Optometrist Must Have

Becoming a children’s optometrist requires a person to complete the normal degree course from any recognized university or college. And a child optometrist first goes to the normal medical college to attain his basic degree. After that, they complete extra training to equip them for children’s disorders. After that, the doctor must follow the regular rules applicable to the country he is studying in to become a Doctor of Optometry.

Here it is to be noted that optometrists are doctors of optometry, and they are not permitted to perform any kind of eye surgery. This is where they differ from an ophthalmologist.

The Conditions That Children’s Optometrists Treat

Children’s optometrists generally treat certain eye conditions in children. They are the first doctors that a child visits when having these typical problems visits. The conditions that the teat are:

  • Refractive errors
  • Amblyopia/ Lazy Eye
  • Strabismus
  • Convergence insufficiency
  • Eye health problems like infections, discharge, injury and inflammation
  • Colour blindness
  • Paediatric cataract
  • Nystagmus
  • Binocular dysfunction

How Will A Child Optometrist Treat The Eye Malfunctions

children’s optometrist will take recourse to vision therapy to treat any of the above-mentioned disorders in a child. He will give customized exercises to develop the visual skills that will ultimately help the visual system and brain coordinate properly.

What Functions Does A Child Optometrist Perform?

When you take your child to a children’s optometrist, you will expect your doctor to perform the following checks on your child:

  • Visual acuity
  • Pupil function
  • Eye movement

Since children’s optometrists are not medical doctors, they are not permitted to perform surgeries on the children. You would be required to take your child to an ophthalmologist. But the optometrist can treat certain eye conditions that have already been discussed above

Treating an adult for any condition is relatively easier, but treating a child often becomes difficult because they tend not to cooperate with a doctor for fear of being injected and given strong doses of medicines they dislike. This is where the speciality and training of children’s optometrists come into play.

So it is vital for you to take your child first to him. If he thinks the child requires further treatment and diagnosis, he will be referred elsewhere. The children’s optometrist will then be able to brief the doctor about the child’s condition. Treatment then becomes easier and complete. They are better acquainted with children and understand them well, and hence there, their skills come into action.

Reasons Behind Seeing A Child Optometrist

Certain signs indicate that a child needs to be taken to a children’s optometrist. When you or your child’s doctor notices these signs, you must visit a child optometrist immediately.

  • Light sensitivity
  • Crossed or wandering eyes
  • Consistent crust or pus, redness in the eyes and watering
  • Often rubbing the eyes
  • Squinting
  • Tilting their head to see things when they can be done normally


Now that you know a lot about children’s optometrists, you will know when to take your child to him. So it is you as parents who must do the first screening at home by always keeping your ears and eyes open. So always remain alert.

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