Children’s Eye Clinic appointments

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Information for Children Referred by Audiology

Who will my child see at the Hospital Eye Clinic?

At your first appointment your child may be seen in two or three of the following departments:
1. Orthoptics
The Orthoptist specialises in assessing how well your child can see and how well their eyes work together. The Orthoptist is able to test vision in many different ways, using pictures or letters so your child does not need to know the alphabet.
2. Optometry
The Optometrist (Optician) will carry out a test to see if your child needs glasses (refraction) and check that both eyes are healthy (fundus examination). This test may require the use of dilating drops.
3. Ophthalmology
The Ophthalmologist is the Eye Doctor.

How long is the Hospital Eye Clinic appointment?
This will depend upon how many people your child needs to see. Children and babies with mild sensori-neural hearing loss who are referred by the Audiologist will be seen in the Combined Care Clinic by an Orthoptist and Optometrist. You should allow between 1.5 and 2 hours for the appointment. Children and babies with moderate or severe sensori-neural hearing loss who are referred by the Audiologist will be seen in the Paediatric Ophthalmology Clinic by an Orthoptist, Optometrist as well as a member of the Consultant Ophthalmologist team. You should allow up to 3 hours for this.

Children attending either of these clinics will require dilating eye drops. Future follow-up visits to the clinic are usually to see the Orthoptist only and should take around 30 minutes as dilating drops are not needed for these appointments.

Dilating Eye Drops (Cyclopentolate)
Eye drops enable the Optometrist and the Ophthalmologist to look inside the eye more easily. This allows a more accurate assessment so that it can be determined if your child requires glasses.
The drops will enlarge the pupil (black central part of the eye) and will blur the vision, which may last for up to 48 hours. They will make your child more sensitive to light for the rest of the day. In sunny weather, it is advisable to bring a hat or sunglasses for your child to wear on the journey home. The drops do sting a little as they are put in. However, the process is quick and health
professionals are very experienced at distraction techniques to minimise any discomfort.

Waiting Area
A small children’s waiting area is available in the Eye Clinic. There is a cold water dispenser available, and you may wish to bring your own snacks and drinks. If your child has additional needs and you think they may find the hospital visit difficult, please contact us. If your child is unable to see several clinicians in one visit, it may be possible to schedule the appointments separately.

Unfortunately, the waiting area can be busy and noisy at times and it is understandable that children with additional needs may have difficulty sitting in the main waiting area. If this is the case, please speak to a member of staff and we will do our best to find them a quiet area to wait.

Further information

This website is designed for children and has short videos about visiting an Eye Clinic. You may wish to look at it with your child before attending your appointment.

Please tell us if you need the Translation Service or a British Sign Language interpreter.

If you have specific concerns about your child’s visit to the Eye Clinic, you can contact the Orthoptic Department on 01908 995532. There is a department answer phone. Please leave your child’s name and hospital number and your contact details. We will aim to respond to your query within one working day.