A photo of Melissa L. Rice.

Melissa L. Rice, OD, FAAO

  • Pediatric Optometrist, Division of Ophthalmology
  • Assistant Professor, UC Department of Ophthalmology
  • Clinical Associate Professor, The Ohio State University
My goal is to provide excellent care to each patient and give them the best possible visual outcome.



As a pediatric optometrist, I specialize in amblyopia (lazy eye), strabismus (misaligned eyes), convergence insufficiency (eyes tend to drift outward as a person looks at near objects) and cerebral/cortical visual impairment (CVI), which is a brain-based visual impairment.

At age four, I was diagnosed with an eye condition. I’ve worn glasses ever since, which could have resulted in poor vision. However, due to the excellent care I received as a child, I have great vision. My goal is to provide excellent care to each patient and give them the best possible visual outcome.

I’m residency-trained with more than 20 years’ experience in my field. Every month, I provide care in a specialty clinic for children with cerebral palsy and cerebral/cortical visual impairment. I’m driven to provide exceptional eye care to my patients.

As a faculty member of the Department of Ophthalmology, I strive to be a valuable mentor to our optometry resident by serving as the director of the Pediatric Optometry Residency Program.

I am passionate about research and innovation in the areas of amblyopia, convergence insufficiency, CVI and intermittent exotropia (one eye occasionally drifts outward). I’m an active investigator in the Pediatric Eye Disease Investigator’s Group (PEDIG), which is a collaborative network of eye doctors doing multi-center research studies on pediatric eye conditions. In addition to PEDIG, I’m actively working on research projects to help the eye care community identify, diagnose and understand this condition.

In my free time, I enjoy reading, knitting, gardening, hiking and spending time with my husband and two daughters. As a child I participated in my hometown circus, which involved a low-flying trapeze.

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Physician Prescribing and Referral Patterns in Children with Cerebral Visual Impairment. Rice, ML; Sandoval, MA; Castleberry, KM; Schwartz, TL. Optometry and Vision Science. 2021; 98:1078-1084.


Cataract development associated with long-term glucocorticoid therapy in Duchenne muscular dystrophy patients. Rice, ML; Wong, B; Horn, PS; Yang, MB. Journal of AAPOS. 2018; 22:192-196.


Results of ocular dominance testing depend on assessment method. Rice, ML; Leske, DA; Smestad, CE; Holmes, JM. Journal of AAPOS. 2008; 12:365-369.


An abbreviated reading speed test. Rice, ML; Birch, EE; Holmes, JM. Optometry and Vision Science. 2005; 82:128-133.

A Randomized Trial of Binocular Dig Rush Game Treatment for Amblyopia in Children Aged 4 to 6 Years. Manny, RE; Holmes, JM; Kraker, RT; Li, Z; Waters, AL; Kelly, KR; Kong, L; Crouch, ER; Lorenzana, IJ; Alkharashi, MS; et al. Optometry and Vision Science. 2022; 99:213-227.

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