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Annick Fournier, MD, Assistant Professor
Gary E. Bonn, MD, Lecturer 
Michael O’Connor, MD

The two most common childhood ophthalmic conditions are strabismus (a crossed eye) and amblyopia (a lazy eye). In both cases, the brain suppresses information received from the wandering eye in order to provide clear vision. Left untreated, the crossed or lazy eye will never fully develop.

Using surgical procedures or special glasses, pediatric ophthalmologists will try to realign a crossed eye so the brain can re-establish neural connections and use of both eyes simultaneously. A lazy eye can often be corrected by placing a patch over the good eye, thereby forcing the brain to utilize and increase the strength of the weak partner.

Other children suffer the same eye diseases as their adult counterparts; congenital defects, cataracts, glaucoma or retinal tumors. Treatment of these conditions is handled by the pediatric ophthalmologists in consultation with specialists from neuro-ophthalmology, retina, cornea and external disease, glaucoma, and oculoplastics.

In the Ottawa-Carleton region, all pediatric medicine and surgery is practiced at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO). Each year, more than 500 surgical procedures are performed and some 9,000 children visit as outpatient referrals. Whether it be a simple probe to clear a blocked tear duct or complex intraocular surgery, the management and treatment of young patients requires special care and attention.

By providing privileges to CHEO’s practicing pediatric ophthalmologists, the Eye Institute has helped form one of the strongest child-oriented facilities in the country.