This Living Local segment is sponsored by Callahan Eye Hospital

Callahan Eye Hospital physicians are stressing the importance of getting children’s eyes examined regularly. 

“If they have any major medical problems or if there are any major illnesses in the family related to eyes, you want to make sure children’s eyes are examined sooner rather than later,” said UAB Callahan Eye Ophthalmologist Dr. Krupa Patel.

If a child fails a vision screening at either a pediatrician’s office or their school, the next step is to see a physician who specializes in pediatric eyes. Doctors continually make children feel comfortable by using items such as toys and stickers, which put them at ease.  

“Everyone hates bright lights being in their eyes, so we do our best to try to keep them as comfortable and make it as much of a play environment as possible,” said Dr. Patel. “We have a ton of cool toys, flashing lights, and things that talk that we’re constantly trying to move around to try and distract the kids to make it as much of a game as possible while looking at their eyes.” 

The work physicians do ranges and includes surgery for eye misalignment and blocked tear ducts. 

“Then there are vision-threatening surgeries that are very important to get in a timely manner,” added Dr. Patel. 

Children can also be accident prone, and the emergency department is open 24 hours a day.

“Callahan at UAB in downtown Birmingham has one of the only full-time eye emergency rooms in the country where you can be seen by ophthalmologists at any time of any day,” said UAB Callahan Eye Ophthalmologist Dr. Rob Tauscher. 

Doctors add one of the best qualities Callahan offers is a comprehensive team with different specialists who can manage essentially any part of a child’s eye care. The hospital is also providing new technologies for patients with one in particular helping to diagnose more subtle findings for diseases in children.

“One of the things we’re starting to incorporate right now are new technologies, particularly one called OCTs, or Optical coherence tomography, which is basically just a fancy word for a fancy machine that looks in the back of the eye and can evaluate the health of the retina and the optic nerve at a micron level,” added Dr. Tauscher.

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