Child's Assessment & Treatment

Diagnostic Orthoptic Assessment and Treatment for Children

Helen Collett and your consultant ophthalmologist work together to provide comprehensive care and treatment for children with any suspected eye problems.

Helen will take a detailed history and orthoptic assessment to analyse how well your child can see and how the eyes are working together as a pair. A personalised orthoptic report of tests to detect squint, reduced vision, as well as developmental or perceptual problems is given to you and your consultant. Photographs of the position of your child's eyes are taken with your signed consent. Helen uses an encrypted tablet to store and update results.

The consultant ophthalmic surgeon examines your child's eyes and tests for glasses. He may ask Helen to put drops into your child's eyes to dilate the pupils and prevent focusing for accurate testing. The drops can cause discomfort for up to 14 seconds and take 30 minutes to work.

He may prescribe glasses to ensure that the eyes are focused correctly. We reach a diagnosis and discuss a treatment plan on the same day, occasionally further tests are required. Treatment may be a combination of glasses and occlusion therapy to develop optimum neurological vision, or exercises to improve eye coordination, and alignment of the eyes.

 

Orthoptic measurements evaluate the progress of your child's treatment, and help to determine squint surgery. Occlusion therapy stimulates the visual pathway of the 'lazy' eye, forcing it to work, by reducing the vision of the 'good' eye. Eye patches, frosting of lens on glasses or atropine eye drops may be prescribed to develop and improve the damaged vision of the weaker eye. Even severely visually impaired eyes that may have just 5% of normal vision can improve with orthoptic treatment. Without treatment, the loss of vision usually gets worse and can become permanent, but with early treatment, the damage to vision can be minimised.

Specialist one stop paediatric eye clinic

Helen works with the paediatric consultant ophthalmologist Mr Madhav Vempali to provide specialist paediatric eye clinics at Rivers Hospital.

Mr Vempali offers complex surgery and Botox therapy, receiving referrals and requests for second opinions from throughout Essex, Hertfordshire and Europe. They have developed and presented their recommendations for the care and treatment of sudden onset squint, which have been adopted at international level.

In our experience the well-being and self-confidence of a child improves with treatment to see better. Improved eyesight and stereovision can lead to enhanced hand-eye and general coordination, the ability to read and play sport, such as football, netball and cricket.

For more details please see PATIENT INFORMATION.

Or to make an appointment please see CLINIC APPOINTMENTS for further information