Ophthalmology (Eye Care)

A pediatric ophthalmology patient

Even when vision problems are just one part of a complex health condition, pediatric ophthalmology is part of helping kids reach their full potential.

From the youngest children who can’t tell us what they see, to those getting their first pair of glasses, we focus on the unique eye care needs of kids. Our pediatric ophthalmologists help your child achieve the best vision possible with routine and specialized care such as:

  • eye exams for infants, children and teens
  • pediatric vision screenings
  • eye care related to other pediatric conditions (sickle cell disease, diabetes, retinopathy of prematurity, etc.)
Read More About Pediatric Ophthalmology
Why Bring Your Child to a Pediatric Ophthalmologist?

If your child fails a vision screening or does not meet certain criteria, your family's primary care provider will refer your child for a comprehensive pediatric eye exam.

Pediatric eye problems are often very different from those of adults for the simple reason that children’s eyes are still developing.

It’s very important to have pediatric eye problems evaluated early and treated promptly because untreated childhood eye disorders can lead to long-term vision problems.

When Should Your Child Have a Pediatric Vision Screening?

Nemours pediatric ophthalmologists encourage early screenings by your child’s primary care doctor at the newborn visit and at all well-child visits.

In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus (AAPOS) and the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) all recommend that your child's eyes be examined at timely intervals.

Why? Because early detection and treatment of eye disorders are an integral part of pediatric ophthalmology that leads to more successful treatment outcomes and are important for protecting your child's vision.

See What We Offer for Pediatric Eye Exams »

Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, Wilmington

1600 Rockland Road
Wilmington, DE 19803
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For Appointments: (302) 651-4200

What to Bring
  • photo ID
  • medical and pharmacy insurance cards
  • preferred pharmacy name and phone number
  • names and dosage of all medications, including over-the-counter medication, your child is currently taking
  • guardianship and custody papers, if a legal guardian rather than a parent accompanies your child
Returning Patients
  • Patient Presents Without Legal Guardian (PDF)
    English | Spanish
    Note: A parent or legal guardian must be with a child for a first visit.
Forms & Resources
Returning Patients
  • Patient Presents Without Legal Guardian (PDF)
    English | Spanish
    Note: A parent or legal guardian must be with a child for a first visit.
Resources for Patients & Families

Nemours Department of Pediatric Ophthalmology's expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of pediatric eye problems and injuries draws patients and their families from around the country and the world to Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children.

Nemours Pediatric Ophthalmology: Care That's Truly Compassionate

When you bring your child to our Division of Pediatric Ophthalmology, you will find that our eye care team takes the time to explain each step of pediatric eye exams (e.g., how eye drops work and feel) and do all they can to help you and your child feel comfortable.

See a List of Diagnostic Pediatric Eye Exams
Pediatric Eye Exams Using Equipment Just for Kids

Using the latest diagnostic techniques and equipment adapted just for children, we provide comprehensive in-office pediatric eye exams that
may include:

Retinal and eye photography

By taking a digital image of the back of the eye, we are able to examine parts of the retina in a way that's not possible with conventional instruments. This allows us to detect problems and monitor the retina for any signs of damage that could result in vision reduction or loss.

Visual field testing

Assessing your child’s field of vision can help determine whether he or she has problems with peripheral, or side vision, which can sometimes be an indicator of eye diseases such as glaucoma.

Ocular ultrasonography

An ultrasound that produces a 2-D image of the eye and its surrounding tissues can show any growths or other structural abnormalities. If a more in-depth study is needed, a CT scan or MRI may also be ordered.

Electroretinogram (ERG) Study

This test is used to diagnose and monitor hereditary and ischemic (due to inadequate oxygen) retinal disorders, before or after the child is symptomatic. The test helps in the diagnosis of:

  • Retinal Dystrophy
  • Retinitis Pigmentosa (a group of hereditary diseases of the retina)
  • Usher Syndrome (a combination of hearing loss and retinitis pigmentosa)
  • Leber’s Congenital Amaurosis (a severe abnormality of the retina present from birth)
  • Stationary Night Blinding Disorders
  • Best Disease (a progressive form of macular [central point of the retina] dystrophy)
Visual Evoked Potential (VEP) Studies

A specialized electroencephalogram used to detect abnormalities related to electrical activity of the brain.

VEP Studies help diagnose and monitor optic nerve disorders, visual acuity problems and other medical conditions that affect the eyes like:

  • Optic Neuritis
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Compressive Optic Neuropathy
  • Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Unexplained Visual Acuity Loss

Help Before Your Baby Is Born

Some pediatric eye problems can be diagnosed before birth and our doctors are pioneers in diagnosing ophthalmic disorders in utero.

Learn more about Nemours Partners for Perinatal Management, which works with expectant parents facing a possible congenital (present at birth) condition.

Specialized Training in Pediatric Ophthalmology

Nemours pediatric ophthalmologists (meaning they've completed a residency in pediatric ophthalmology and are trained specifically in pediatric eye problems) offer comprehensive eye examinations and testing in order to diagnose and treat infant, childhood, and adolescent eye disorders. And, if needed, they have the skill and experience to perform pediatric eye surgery.

Our Pediatric Ophthalmologists in the Community

Our pediatric eye specialists reach out to the community, providing consultations and evaluations for newborns and children at:

  • St. Francis Hospital, Wilmington, DE
  • Christiana Hospital, Newark, DE
  • Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Philadelphia
  • Wills Eye Hospital, Philadelphia

Children with Developmental Delays

Our team members are particularly sensitive to the challenges that children with developmental delays (e.g., autism) may have in testing situations — and we're able to help them get complete and thorough pediatric eye exams with as little anxiety as possible.

Teaming Up With Your Child's Doctor & Other Nemours Specialists

Because some pediatric eye problems can be related to specific medical conditions, our pediatric ophthalmology team often collaborates with other Nemours medical specialists. State-of-the-art electronic health records (EHR) and digital photography make it easy to share eye test results and treatment plans with our specialists, and your child’s primary care doctor.

And to make things easier for you as a parent or guardian, we'll do our best to coordinate your child's visit with other specialty appointments as needed.

What to Expect With Pediatric Surgery

If your child needs surgery, you can trust our pediatric surgical team at Nemours. Our pediatric surgical specialists (surgeons, anesthesiologists and nurses) understand what kids need, psychologically and physically. Our guidebook provides step-by-step instructions and information about what to expect before, during and right after surgery at Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children.