The Pediatric Ophthalmology/Orthoptic Department is a two-dimensional department whose services deal primarily with children's eye problems. However, since strabismus and binocular/sensory problems are also seen in adults, especially with a growing geriatric population, a significant number of adult patients are seen as well.
The Pediatric Ophthalmology, Strabismus and Specialty Testing Service at The New York Eye and Ear Infirmary has a strong reputation for quality care, accommodating approximately 5,600 patients per year. Patients referred to the service by private ophthalmologists in the region include adults as well as children with binocular problems (diplopia, amblyopia and post cataract binocular problems). Clinic patient referrals present with a wide variety of ocular disorders related to systemic problems that have required both medical and surgical treatment.
An increasing number of congenital cataracts have been referred to the Service and we have been active in working with IOLAB in a core program of using intraocular lenses in children. A clinic for Pediatric Glaucoma has been developed with the Glaucoma Service in order to provide a more comprehensive treatment to children with this condition. Continued screening of children with learning disabilities has been performed using a screening test developed at the nearby Albert Einstein School of Medicine.
Presentation of papers and courses by the staff at both regional and national meetings has continued with acceptance of manuscripts for publication. Clinical research papers have been presented throughout the year at American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) and regional Continuing Medical Education (CME) programs. Our departmental staff continues to participate in professional extracurricular activities, such as Program Chairman of the National Orthoptic Meeting and representing orthoptists on several boards of directors.
Our Low Vision Clinic continues to service both private and clinic patients under the direction of a professional staff of orthoptists/ophthalmic technologists, residents and attendings. Intensive testing of color deficiencies has become part or the comprehensive evaluation. The New York Eye and Ear Infirmary is designated as one of the three official ocular Color Testing Centers in New York State.
Special testing procedures--such as saccadic velocities, electrophysiological testing, specialized color vision testing and teller acuity--have been used with increasing frequency in order to better evaluate our cases and to provide accurate forms of treatment. During the past year we have continued utilizing Botulism Toxin for a wide variety of muscular facial disorders as well as for treatment of strabismus.
Millions of Americans have some degree of low vision— impairment of vision that cannot otherwise be corrected by standard glasses, contact lenses, medicine, or surgery. It can result from conditions such as cataracts, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy and macular degeneration, and can impact a person’s ability to perform everyday tasks such as reading, writing, meal preparation and walking independently. Solutions for individuals with low vision may include optical aids such as a new eyeglass prescription, handheld magnifiers, strong reading glasses, and electronic aids such as closed circuit televisions and portable tablet computers with enlarged print capabilities. Non-optical aids include devices such as large print phones and talking watches.
An accurate low vision evaluation by an optometrist or ophthalmologist will indicate which solutions work best for the affected individual. At the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary low vision evaluations are conducted on a weekly basis by optometrist Dr. Benjamin Freed. An individualized rehabilitation program is developed to help patients use their remaining vision more effectively. The appropriate devices are usually available for dispensing. Patients are counseled on external services such as mobility and vocational training, and educational assistance for school-age individuals.
“Servicing a high volume of patients, our Low Vision Clinic efficiently addresses the needs of many of the visually impaired in the community, including an underserved population who otherwise might not receive these services.”—Benjamin M. Freed, OD, Director, Low Vision Services
The Resident Training Program benefits from the variety and number of cases. An increasing number of attending physicians have enriched the training with lectures on a wide range of subjects concerning pediatric ophthalmology and strabismus. These lectures have helped prepare the residents for their OKAP examinations as well as for their general training in ophthalmology.
Clinical conferences regarding interesting strabismus and pediatric cases are held weekly. Proper evaluation for further medical care or surgery is done with participation of all the residents and attendings.
Read more about the Resident Training Program in Ophthalmology.
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