Eye Dr or Pediatrician?

Updated on April 26, 2013
J.C. asks from McKinney, TX
12 answers

My two year old is beginning to show signs of a lazy eye. Do we take her to the pediatrician or to an eye dr? And if it is an eye dr would it be an optometrist or an ophthalmologist?

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So What Happened?

Thank you everyone, I'll look into an ophthalmologist. My husband had a lazy eye and had surgery as a child (which still didn't fix all of his issues) so I've been on the lookout for this with all of my kids. We don't need a referral for our insurance and we are allowed an eye exam every year for each of our family members.

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answers from Washington DC on

Pediatric opthalmologist. I went to an optometrist, they told me both my kids needed glasses. I got them both glasses. At the request of the pediatrician 6 months later, she suggested a 2nd opinion from the opthamologist. The opthamologist said, yes, they agreed with the prescription from the first doctor, but in both cases, it was not bad enough to warrant glasses.

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answers from Dallas on

Opthalmologist - you want an MD for that. You may want or need a referral from your pediatrician though.

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answers from Boston on

You may need to start with the pediatrician for a referral based on your insurance. It might make sense to have the pedi take a look at the eye when you are in there for a regular visit since it's already paid for. Pediatricians have some training in looking for signs of things that may require a specialist.

Otherwise, I'd try an ophthalmologist. This is more than a vision problem and may require that level of expertise.

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answers from Dallas on

Please go to a pediatric opthamologist. If your child does have a lazy eye it is best to get treatment as quickly as possible, to prevent permament vision loss or problems. Your pediatrician may be able to give you a referal.

My daughter had started showing symptoms of vision problems at three. She was diagnosed with amblyopia and had to get glasses and wear an eye patch a few hours a day for months. The only reason, I knew to look for that eye problem was due to the fact that I had the same problem as a young child. Most parents have no idea that their children has this eye problem because the child's brain will compensate and rely on using the good eye and eventually, the weak eye will get "turned off" by the brain if not treated. I live in the Wylie area and I go to Grapevine to see Dr. George Beauchamp. He is excellent with children, his staff is great and now my daughters vision is corrected. She still needs glasses but no longer has symptoms of amblyopia and no longer needs an eye patch. I know Grapevine is kind of a long drive but it's worth it to get the best vision for your child.

Plead check his website

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answers from Dallas on

Opthalmologist. And if they say she does don't let them talk you into surgary without checking out other options.

ADD: I had to do vision theropy and so did my son to help correct ours. The one I took my son to is in Garland. I know that's a little ways from you but he's great. We drive about 45 mins to get to him.

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answers from Rochester on

Ultimately you would want an eye doctor to evaluate this, but depending on your insurance you may need a referral from an MD. My insurance covers an eye exam once a year from birth, so I would go directly there...call your insurance and find out.

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answers from Colorado Springs on

If it were my child, I'd check first with the person I already know - the pediatrician. I would ask him/her about a specialist and get a referral.

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answers from Portland on

Just reiterating the others: ped first and then an ophthalmologist. Get the referral-- it could save you a lot of money this way.

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answers from Dallas on

i'd go to the pedie first and let her/him advise and refer you. This way you know you will get a second opinion and he/she may give you questions to ask.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I agree with a pediatric ophthamologist. My son was diagnosed several years ago. I just want to add a little about insurance. Maybe yours is different, but here is my experience and we have a good policy. Since lazy eye is a medical condition, they will pay for any and all ophthamologist visits, but refraction is almost never covered. Also, even though our son needs glasses because of a medical condition, medical insurance will not pay anything towards corrective lenses. If glasses are in your son's future, you may want to consider vision insurance. Young kids need new glasses every year which can get expensive. Also, get high quality, comfortable frames even if they cost more. It is worth it to have comfy glasses. Good luck.



answers from Dallas on

Pediatric Opthamologist, my son has been dealing with exotropia since he was age 4, now age 12. Joel Leffler in Plano, Tx is a Pediatric Opthamologist. That would be close to you.



answers from Dallas on

George Beauchamp in Grapevine is one of the best in the country. Our son has been going there for almost 5 years. He's had 2 surgeries for "lazy eye". Your medical insurance will cover the visits and surgery (minus deductible) but you will probably try glasses and/or patching first. Our insurance did pay for the refraction lenses. Maybe it's in how the dr writes the scrip. Don't bother with ped dr. They can't do anything other than refer.

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