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8008 Zürich


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Pediatric Ophthalmology

What is pediatric ophthamology?

The diseases and treatment of children do not correspond to those of adults. The clinical pictures are very different. Therefore it is important to examine a child, and especially infants, in an age-appropriate and professional manner. We bring a solid education and training and many years of experience in the field of pediatric ophthalmology.

Vision disorders in childhood

Vision disorders in childhood can have very different causes. It is important to take the complaints seriously and to have them clarified. In the case of visual impairments, it is particularly important to identify them as early as possible in infancy and preschool age. Often they are high refractive errors, which can be treated well with spectacles. If left untreated, these can lead to diminished vision or even strabismus. At school age, it is often children with nearsightedness (myopia) or vision problems associated with headaches. Headaches in particular require a more thorough ophthalmological examination. There are also many other, but often less common, reasons for vision loss. The pediatric ophthalmologic examinations are performed in detail in order not to miss such rare reasons.

Strabismus (squint)

If you observe a strabismus, i.e. a deviation of one eye away from the visual axis, in your child, this should be clarified soon by an ophthalmologist. We also recommend discussing this in advance with your pediatrician.

There are different types of strabismus. Internal and external strabismus are very common, usually without any other conspicuous findings of the eyes and with anatomically normal structures. However, it is always important to exclude the possibility that the strabismus is due to a high refractive error or a pathology of the eye. Often children with an internal strabismus need glasses to treat the strabismus and to achieve a good visual development. Sometimes a patching therapy of one eye (a so-called amblyopia therapy) is also necessary in order to promote the visual development of the squinting eye in the best possible way. In this case, the better-seeing or non-squinting eye is patched for a few hours daily in order to promote the vision of the weaker or squinting eye as good as possible. This patching therapy has proven itself and is used worldwide. Alternatively, in certain cases of intolerance to the patch, a special eye drop (penalization) therapy is possible. Regular orthoptic and ophthalmologic evaluation is also important for external strabismus. In this way, as with the other forms of strabismus, visual development can be surveyed in the best possible way and binocular vision (3D vision) can be preserved as far as possible. In certain cases an eye muscle / strabismus surgery is necessary. In the case of complex forms of strabismus, we cooperate with the colleagues of the Neuropediatric Department of the Children’s Hospital Zurich.

Low vision (amblyopia)

Amblyopia is a visual impairment acquired in childhood or an incompletely developed visual performance with a clear potential for improvement up to the age of approx. 10 years with appropriate specialist treatment. The potential for improvement is greater the younger the child. After completion of the visual development at the age of about 10 years the visual performance can hardly or at most minimally be improved, regardless of the cause, even with glasses. In the case of severe newly discovered refractive errors, full visual development, even with glasses, is sometimes no longer possible from about 7 years of age.
There are various reasons for amblyopia. Common reasons are strabismus , uncorrected ametropia and high refractive errors. There are also more rare reasons, for example drooping eyelids (ptosis), lens opacities (often congenital pronounced to minimal opacities, so-called congenital cataracts), corneal changes (e.g. in severe blepharokeratoconjunctivitis or herpes), retinal diseases or changes in the optic nerve.

For the treatment of amblyopia, spectacle fitting is essential in cases of refractive error. If only one eye is affected, patching therapy of the better-seeing eye is necessary to promote the visual development of the weaker eye in order to achieve the significant improvement in visual performance. As an alternative to the patching, which (according to studies) has proven to be the most effective, cover flaps over the spectacle lens or special eye drops are useful in selected cases.

Pediatric ophthalmologic treatment

The pediatric ophthalmologic spectrum includes the treatment of all diseases affecting the eyes, the anterior eye segments including the lacrimal ducts, the orbit, the optic nerve, the visual pathway and the visual cortex in the brain.

Thus, our spectrum ranges from chronic inflammation of the eyelid margins, allergic conjunctivitis, inflammation of the iris (e.g. in juvenile arthritis), congenital cataract, ocular malpositions, strabismus, eye movement disorders, retinal diseases and changes in the optic nerve to preventive examinations for diabetes mellitus, premature babies or children with various developmental disorders.

We treat all children: from premature babies (including screening in neonatology and the further outpatient screening) to adolescents.

In very complex cases, we work in an interdisciplinary manner and closely with colleagues from the Children’s Hospital and the Eye Clinic of the University Hospital Zurich.

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Office hours and appointment

We will be happy to arrange an appointment with you that suits you well in terms of time.

In case of emergency (especially in case of: sudden vision loss, acute pain or inflammation of the eyes, new strabismus, accidents) please call us so that we can give you a prompt appointment.

Our office hours (consultation hours and telephone):

Monday - Friday
Monday - Friday
Saturday and Sunday

Appointments by appointment by phone:

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