​Overview of the Pediatric Eye Disease Service

Pediatric eye diseases are often different from those occurring in adults. For this reason, the eye examinations performed for children require a specialized approach. At Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi’s Eye Institute, experienced pediatric ophthalmologists, pediatric orthoptists (caregivers specialized in eye movement disorders), nurses, and technicians work together to provide the highest possible standard of Patients First care for children affected by eye disease.

Children of all ages, including newborns and infants, can be treated for eye concerns at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi’s Eye Institute.

What We Treat

Pediatric eye diseases include structural disorders of the eye, such as:

  • Cataract: Cataract is a cloudiness of the eye’s lens, causing blurred vision. 
  • Glaucoma: Glaucoma develops when there is an increase in pressure in the eye. This pressure damages the optic nerve and can lead to vision loss.
  • Retinal dystrophy: Retinal dystrophy is the term given to a group of progressive diseases that affect the retina (the tissue that lines the back of the eyeball) and can lead to vision loss.
  • Congenital malformation: Congenital malformations are structural abnormalities of the eye that form as a result of problems in development of the structure of the eye.
  • Nasolacrimal duct obstruction: Nasolacrimal duct obstruction is characterized by a blockage of the tear duct (a small tube that allows tears to flow from the eye to the nasal cavity). When tears are unable to drain out of the eye, they will build up and cause a backflow which can lead to the formation of discharge in the eye.
  • Ptosis: Ptosis describes an upper eyelid that is “drooping” or falling.
  • Eye misalignment andmovement disorders: Misaligned eyes, also referred to as strabismus, can occur for many reasons. Eye misalignment disorder refers to any disorder that results in strabismus.
  • Genetic and hereditary disorders: Some disorders that affect the eyes can be passed on in families. These conditions are known as genetic or hereditary. At Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, a dedicated team of experts within the Genetic & Hereditary Eye Disorders service provides world class care to individuals diagnosed with an inherited eye disorder. 
  • Amblyopia: Also called lazy eye, amblyopia is caused by refractive errors such as myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), or astigmatism (blurry vision). Amblyopia is also caused by many other eye diseases that hinder vision.

Diagnosis & Treatment of Pediatric Eye Disease

Diagnosis of Pediatric Eye Disease 

A comprehensive orthoptic and ophthalmologic examination allows caregivers to determine a specific diagnosis of eye disease. Patients are first assessed by the Eye Institute’s specialized pediatric orthoptists (caregivers specialized in the diagnosis and treatment of eye movement disorders). Children then have a medical examination and a pupillary dilation completed by a pediatric ophthalmologist. The initial comprehensive assessment takes approximately two hours. 

Treatment of Pediatric Eye Disease 

Treatment for children is individualized, based on the findings and specific diagnosis. Treatment options may include one or a combination of the following:

  • Patching
  • Glasses 
  • Eye drops
  • Surgery

Pediatric Eye Disease Caregivers 

At Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, we understand that it may be difficult for children to wait patiently for the examination and for treatment to be completed. Our specialized caregivers do their best to help make the time spent at the hospital as comfortable as possible for children, and to alleviate any concerns from either the child or the parents. A special children’s waiting area is dedicated to keeping families comfortable.

Managing pediatric patients with eye disease requires a multidisciplinary team. Caregivers involved in patient care for this service are:

  • Pediatric ophthalmologists
  • Pediatric orthoptists
  • Nurses
  • Technicians​


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