What to Expect

What to Expect at Your First Appointment at Pediatric Ophthalmology

The best way for us to diagnose your child’s eye problem is to perform a thorough eye exam. Often, eye exams can include eye drops for dilation. This can be scary for children, who may be uncomfortable with the idea of someone else giving them eye drops and looking into their eyes. We try to make the experience as easy as possible for our patients—if necessary, we will work with you, the parent, to help calm an anxious child. You and your child can also view this video, which will help them understand what will be happening.

Making an Appointment at Pediatric Ophthalmology

We want it to be easy for you to get the care your child needs. You can call us to self-refer to our program, or your child’s pediatrician or another provider can refer you. Once we receive your child’s information, our department will review it to make sure our program is the best fit for your child.

Appointments are available at several convenient locations, including at the Burnet Campus.

Before Your Appointment

You may receive a phone call before your appointment from one of our staff members to collect more details about your child’s symptoms, history or treatments; previous eye records; or pictures of your child’s eye.

On the Day of Your Visit to Pediatric Ophthalmology

What to Bring

At the initial visit, the ophthalmologist will need to know about your child's general health. Be sure to tell the doctor or the clinical staff about your child's:

  • Medical problems.
  • Surgical procedures.
  • Allergies.

If your child has been previously treated with glasses or contact lenses, bring them to the examination. Also, bring the names and addresses of all physicians who may be treating your child; that way, the ophthalmologist can quickly share any important findings with your child’s other doctors. Also bring:

  • Medications that your child may be taking.
  • Insurance card.
  • Previous eye exam records.
  • Questions for your child's eye care provider. 

Arriving At Your Appointment

If you are seeing an ophthalmologist at our Burnet Campus, please arrive about 30 minutes ahead of your appointment time to allow time to park and walk from the parking garage to our clinic. At other locations, please arrive 15 minutes ahead of the appointment. If you are running late, please contact us.

At Your Appointment

During your child’s appointment, they could see multiple members of the ophthalmology care team, including an ophthalmic assistant or technician, orthoptist, trainee, and an optometrist or an ophthalmologist.

Ophthalmology appointments typically take longer than a routine doctor’s visit. Your child’s appointment may last two or two and half hours. During the appointment, your child will receive a comprehensive eye exam, and will most likely have his or her eyes dilated with eye drops.

Our caregivers will perform a complete eye exam that includes both checking your child’s visual acuity and dilating their eyes to check the health of the back of the eye. We also may perform other diagnostic tests depending on the reason for the visit and your child’s age. The appointment typically lasts two to two and a half hours.

If you think your child may have difficulty with the eye drops, you may want to practice at home first. We try to make the situation as comfortable as possible for your family. That might include a “comfort hold” or simply not getting the eye drops.

After Your Visit to Pediatric Ophthalmology

You will receive an “After Visit Summary” at the end of your appointment. It will include important details about next steps and any upcoming appointments. It also will include contact information for your child’s care team.