Eye Department

eye examination

Here in the Eye Department (also known as Ophthalmology) we see children with a wide range of eye disorders including:

  • amblyopia
  • strabismus
  • refractive error
  • hypermetropia – long sightedness
  • myopia – short sightedness
  • astigmatism
  • cataract
  • ptosis

Support

We have a Vision Impairment Service which helps children attain their visual potential.

Carers can meet parents of other children with a visual impairment and the children will be able to play with specially chosen toys.

If you suspect your child has an eye problem

Please see your family doctor (GP) or health visitor for a referral to the Eye Department.

All children under the age of 16 are entitled to free NHS eye tests at a local optometrist. If a problem is found they can be referred to the hospital via your GP.

In an emergency, under 16s can visit the Emergency Department at the main hospital site.

A patient’s journey through the Eye Department

After booking in at reception most children are firstly seen by the orthoptist to test the eyes including eye position, eye movement, and binocular (3D) vision.

Even if your child has normal vision and completes all the other orthoptic tests normally, she/he will still be seen by the doctor or optometrist to ensure all parts of the eyes are healthy.

The nurse in the department will put the drops in and uses a variety of distraction techniques to limit any distress. We need to use eye drops to make the pupil (the black part of the eye) large and prevent the eyes from focusing properly temporarily.

The drops do not harm the eye in any way and this is a routine test done on children referred to our department. The eye drops take 30-40 minutes to work so you may wish to go away for a drink during this time.

The test for glasses is done by using a light called a retinoscope and shining it into the eye.

The light is moved backwards and forwards and can be seen by the doctor or optometrist within the eye. The doctor or optometrist may also need to look at the more detailed structures within the eye using the slit lamp.

If your child needs glasses, you will be given a prescription to take to an optometrist of your choice for dispensing.

Further review appointments will be arranged for assessment and further treatment as necessary.

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