Our vision is precious. We use our eyes not only to take in information about our world, but also to connect and communicate our feelings with those around us.
Children’s Hospital & Medical Center Ophthalmology specializes in helping children of all ages protect and maintain healthy eyes by providing comprehensive medical and surgical eye care services.
Children’s Ophthalmology offers both routine care, like regular eye examinations and treating eye infections, as well as specialized pediatric ophthalmology surgical care for children with more serious vision and ocular problems. We also have a full-service Optical Shop onsite that offers one-stop shopping if your child needs corrective lenses. Make an eye exam appointment or bring in your prescription and insurance and we can fulfill your order.
What Sets Children’s Apart?
At Children’s we believe every child deserves the best outcomes and experiences. It’s why our skilled ophthalmology surgeons use the most advanced optical, medical and surgical tools and techniques to protect and restore vision, so children can heal and thrive. With assistance from Children’s Foundation, our world-class surgical suites located in the Hubbard Center for Children provide the most innovative ophthalmology diagnostic and surgical equipment available, including advanced microscopes and cataracts/vitrectomy machines, ultrasound, ocular photography and surgical instrumentation. By partnering with other subspecialists at Children’s, we provide a continuum of care that, along with our community partners in private practice and at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, ensures children rarely need to leave Nebraska, even for the most complex eye conditions.
At Children’s, our optometrists use advanced technology to perform comprehensive eye exams including retina and optic nerve evaluation. Our optometrists specialize in treating children from babies to teens. In addition to routine eye care, we treat children with more significant vision problems.
Visionmobile is part of our mission to reach out to the community. The Visionmobile travels to Omaha Public Schools to provide eye exams for children. Our goal is to ensure that every child in the Omaha area has access to the highest level of vision care.
What To Expect For Routine Eye Care
The method used for each vision screening and examination will depend on your child’s age. The exam will usually include an inspection of the eye, pupil and cornea using an ophthalmoscope. This instrument projects a beam of light into the eye and has a special magnifying lens that the examiner looks through. This lens allows the examiner to see the interior parts of the eye and check for any problems.
An optometrist or ophthalmologist will also test to make sure that your child’s eyes are aligned properly (meaning that one or both eyes are not “crossed” or off-center). Exams include checking your child’s vision using symbols or letters, testing both eyes at first and then testing one eye at a time.
All children undergoing a comprehensive eye exam require dilation of the pupils. This is done with an eye drop and is very safe. Dilation allows the doctor to correctly perform a refraction or measurement for glasses as well as allowing a complete examination of the deepest part of the eye, the retina and optic nerve. The dilation will wear off in 12-24 hours, and the side effects include mild light sensitivity and temporary blurred vision at near site.
These screenings can detect a variety of vision problems. They can also help detect conditions like neurological diseases and tumors that may affect your child’s vision. Regular vision screenings are recommended throughout childhood. These screenings will indicate whether your child needs a more comprehensive, complete eye exam.
Multidisciplinary Care, Specialty Care and Innovation
The physicians of ophthalmology at Children’s participate in several multidisciplinary clinics with other divisions including Neurosurgery, Neurology, Rheumatology and Hematology/Oncology. Specialties include pediatric cataract, strabismus or eye misalignment surgery, retinopathy of prematurity, pediatric glaucoma, trauma, eye plastic surgery and tearing problems. In collaboration with ocular Oncology and pediatric Oncology we are providing advanced care for eye tumors such as retinoblastoma.
At Children’s we are more than a hospital. Through healing, education and research taking place here, we extend care and hope to children. Nothing is more important or inspiring to us.
Vision Screening Program
Children’s Hospital & Medical Center, in collaboration with Omaha Public Schools (OPS) and local nursing colleges, provides vision screenings to students in the OPS school district.
OPS school students, who are categorized under the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services state-mandated health screening guidelines, participate in a vision screening program. Students not categorized under DHHS will still be seen with parental consent.
Once results are analyzed and relayed to the OPS school nurse, and it is determined that the child needs a more comprehensive exam, the Vision Screening staff will work with OPS to ensure a proper referral process takes place.
Email inquiries to: [email protected]
Mailed inquiries for the Vision Screening Program should be addressed to:
Children’s Hospital & Medical Center
Attention: Vision Screening Program
8534 Cass St.
Omaha, NE 68114
Conditions We Treat
At Children’s, we treat many different kinds of eye problems and disorders, including:
AmblyopiaSometimes called “lazy eye,” this condition occurs when one eye sees much better than the other. It’s often the result of strabismus, which occurs when one eye turns out, up, or down, either constantly or intermittently.
AstigmatismThis occurs when the lens or the cornea is misshapen, which interferes with the eye’s ability to focus. Children are usually prescribed glasses or contacts to focus their vision properly.
Blocked Tear DuctThis prevents tears from draining normally. Babies are sometimes born with a blocked tear duct, which may clear up on its own as a baby’s eye drainage system matures. Other times, treatment may be needed (such as massage, minor office procedures, or surgery). Your baby’s pediatrician will explain the options available.
CataractWhen the lens of the eye appears cloudy, which interferes with vision. Though more common in adults, children can have cataracts too.
ChalazionOccurs when an oil-secreting gland in the eyelid becomes clogged, making a small lump on the eyelid.
ConjunctivitisCommonly called “pink eye,” this infection causes the eye to turn red and produce tears and discharge. It may also cause itching. Conjunctivitis can be caused by a virus or bacteria, or by an allergic reaction.
Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA)-Associated UveitisWhen part of the eye becomes inflamed, because of an infection or autoimmune disease like juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA). This is a serious condition that must be treated immediately to avoid permanent vision problems.
MyopiaCommonly known as nearsightedness, this condition is caused by a misshapen lens or retina. People with myopia can see nearby objects clearly, but objects in the distance appear blurry. Once diagnosed, your child is usually prescribed glasses or contact lenses, or may be a candidate for laser surgery.
Preseptal, or Orbital, CellulitisAn infection in the eye. This serious condition may be caused by a cold or the flu, a trauma to the eye, or an infection in the eyelid itself.
PtosisWhen the eyelid droops over the eye, blocking vision.
StyeA painful red bump that forms near the edge of the eyelid, caused by an infected eyelash follicle.
Strabismus, or Hypertropia, (commonly referred to as “crossed eyes”)When one eye rolls in or outward instead of remaining focused. Newborn babies may have this but usually outgrow it by the time they’re 3 months old.
If your child needs a pair of glasses — whether or not they are a patient at Children’s — visit our Optical Shop.
We are open Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and located within the Ophthalmology Eye Clinic at Children’s East building, located at:
8534 Cass St.
Omaha, NE 68114
Questions? Call us at 402-955-8294.
What To Do Next
Make An Appointment
To make an appointment, call 402-955-6799.
For Referring Providers
The Physicians’ Priority Line is your 24-hour link to pediatric specialists at Children’s for emergency and urgent consults, physician-to-physician consults, admissions, and transport services. Call 855-850-KIDS (5437).
Learn more about referring patients.