Understanding the Different Types of Eye Doctors
Pediatric Optometrists and Pediatric Ophthalmologists?
"The emphasis of ophthalmology is eye disease and eye surgery; this is their domain, their area of expertise. Dr. Malcolm L. Malzow, an ophthalmologist, wrote in the discussion section of his paper "Acute Accommodative and Convergence Insufficiency,"1 "My impression is that many ophthalmologists handle this disorder poorly and many of the patients end up under the care of optometrists." Another ophthalmologist, Dr. David L. Guyton, in the same article said, "I agree with Dr. Malzow
we [ophthalmologists] have probably abdicated the study of accommodation and convergence to the optometric profession. A perusal of the literature will reveal that most of the advances in this area are being made in the optometric institutions by vision scientists who use definitions and terms with which we [ophthalmologists] are not even familiar."
Buzzards to Bluebirds--Help Stop LD,
ADD, ADHD, Dyslexia, School Dropouts
and School Failures
by Allen and Virginia Crane
To read more on the differences in practice focus between Pediatric Optometrists and Pediatric Ophthalmologists, see Choosing an Eye Doctor.
Screening an Eye Doctor is Important
Be sure to screen vision specialists to find a pediatric optometrist who will do thecomprehensive testing you require and who will be able to give the assistance you need to correct any vision problems. Free and immediate referrals to specialists in pediatric optometry can be obtained by filling out a form at Pediatric Optometrists Directory - FIND A DOCTOR
"Screen Your Eye Doctor" Checklist
This Screen Your Eye Doctor checklist is written to help you choose an eye doctor. If the practitioner does not test by these methods and measurements, problems will not be diagnosed and your child may continue to have functional vision problems which can cause reading problems or other learning problems. Print and use the Screen Your Eye Doctor form as many times as necessary to locate the vision specialist most qualified to test for and correct your child's vision problems.
- Do you test for and correct accommodation (focusing) abilities?
- Do you test for and correct lateral and vertical vergences (eye alignment and speed)?
- Do you test for and correct eye movement while the child is answering questions that make him/her think?
- Will you tell me if my children has crossed eyes (deviating eyes, eye deviations, strabismus, etc.) that need special vision training procedures (vision therapy, visual training, orthoptics) that I can not provide myself (under your direction)? If so, will you provide the vision care needed or help me find the right care?
- If you find my child has a functional vision problem, will you provide vision therapy or refer out for this?
- Will you send a written report to my child's teacher and other professionals, if necessary?
Remember that you will have a fee to pay for this type of testing. Charges may vary, but the costs cannot be compared to those for the basic type of test only. The standard "quick" exam (including the Snellen acuity chart) only tests several aspects of the vision system as it relates to learning. Anyone with a learning problem needs the comprehensive testing discussed on this page. See the Pediatric Optometrists Directory for a free referral.
© Allen and Virginia Crane.
Buzzards to Bluebirds -- Improve Your Child's Learning and Behavior in Six Weeks; Help Stop LD, ADD, ADHD, Dyslexia, School Dropouts and School Failures (ISBN: 0-943599-87-3)
1 Malzow, M.L.; France, T.D.; Finkleman, S.; Frank, P.; Jenkins, P. "Acute Accommodative and Convergence Insufficiency," Tr. Amer. Opth. Soc., Vol LXXXVIII, 1989.
Frequently misspelled words: Pediatric Ophthalmologists, Pediatric opthalmologists, pediatric ophthalmology, pediatric opthalmologists, pediatric opthamologists, opthamologists, ophthalmologists