Pediatric Eye Specialists

Little girl at eye doctorAll children, even those without vision problems, should have a vision screening or eye exam before age five. Young children may not be aware they are not seeing correctly. Without early detection and intervention, children with untreated eye problems may suffer from serious vision loss or even blindness.

UofL Physicians–Pediatric Eye Specialists serves children in the Louisville, Southern Indiana and greater Kentucky areas with refractive errors (those in need of vision correction through glasses or contact lenses), tear duct obstruction, misaligned or crossed eyes (strabismus), lazy eye (amblyopia), double vision (diplopia), cataracts, glaucoma and other ocular disorders. Our doctors also treat adults with strabismus and double vision, and provide school eye exams and well eye care.

Louisville Eye Exam

Pediatric eye health problems we care for are:

  • Retinopathy of prematurity
  • Tear duct obstruction
  • Strabismus (crossed eyes)
  • Amblyopia (lazy eye)
  • Diplopia (double vision)
  • Cataracts
  • Glaucoma
  • Retinoblastoma

Some of the most common symptoms of eye problems in children are:

  • An eye appears to be misaligned (crossed or drifted out)
  • Squinting, closing or covering of one eye
  • Headache, nausea or dizziness with visual activities
  • Excessive clumsiness
  • Tilting the head to one side
  • Rubbing eyes repeatedly
  • Child has an eyelid that drops down
  • Brother or sister has lazy eye or other eye problems
  • White glow in the pupil

Crossed Eyes (Strabismus)

About 4 percent of children in the United States have strabismus, a condition in which the eyes do not align properly or may looked “crossed.” Adults may also have strabismus, due to a history of the condition in childhood or because of other factors, including thyroid eye disease, stroke or other neurological conditions, head trauma, or nerve diseases such as multiple sclerosis, which may affect vision. Our pediatric eye care specialists – including ophthalmologists, optometrists and orthoptists – treat both children and adults with strabismus, using optical therapy such as glasses or patching, or surgical intervention if necessary.

Amblyopia (Lazy Eye)

Amblyopia is the most common cause of vision problems in children. It is caused by an improperly developed nerve pathway from the eye to the brain; over time, the brain may learn to ignore images from the weaker eye. Children who are treated before the age of 5 have an excellent prognosis but delaying treatment can lead to permanent vision loss. Glasses, patching and surgery when necessary are all possible treatments for lazy eye and our pediatric eye specialists are trained in the newest and most effective treatments for this condition.

Diplopia (Double Vision)

Cornea, lens, neurological or muscular problems may lead to double vision, or diplopia. Misalignment of the eyes is the most common cause of double vision, and our pediatric eye specialists are expert in treating eye misalignment.

School Eye Exams

All children in Kentucky are required to have an eye exam prior to entering kindergarten. With office locations in downtown Louisville, Louisville’s East End, The Springs Medical Center on Dutchmans Parkway and in Bowling Green, our pediatric ophthalmologists and optometrists conveniently serve children in the Louisville, Southern Indiana and Bowling Green areas in need of school eye exams.

Retinopathy of Prematurity

Retinopathy of Prematurity, or ROP, is a condition typically found in infants who are born at or before 30 weeks of gestation. Blood vessel development in the eyes is disrupted, and the vessels develop abnormally, which can cause blood leakage into the eye. In the most serious cases, vision is threatened by retinal detachment. Screening should be performed on high-risk infants shortly after birth, as abnormal vessel development cannot be detected by the naked eye. Our pediatric eye specialists offer the most advanced treatments for ROP, including cryotherapy (or freezing of the blood vessels to prevent abnormal growth), laser therapy and surgery, if necessary.

Tear Duct Obstruction

Blocked tear ducts are a common problem in infants, and though many open on their own, some cases do require intervention to prevent infection. Symptoms include excessive tearing or mucous production from the eyes. If the tear duct is infected, antibiotics may be prescribed. If the condition does not resolve by the time a baby is one year of age, our pediatric ophthalmologist may perform a minor procedure to open the tear duct.

Pediatric Cataract and Glaucoma

Though it is more common in the developing world, some babies are born with a cataract, often due to infections that can occur during fetal development. A white pupil in one or both eyes can be a symptom of cataracts, but examination by a pediatric eye specialist is necessary to confirm the diagnosis. Removal of the cataract with lens implantation during the first weeks or months of life is recommended for the best prognosis. Early intervention is the best way to preserve vision. Because of experience working internationally in countries where pediatric cataracts are more common, our pediatric ophthalmologists have extensive experience in caring for babies with cataracts.

Childhood glaucoma is a rare condition in which pressure builds up in the eye due to an improperly developed drainage system, which can lead to damage to the optic nerve. The condition must be diagnosed by a pediatric ophthalmologist or optometrist; symptoms may include enlargement of the eyes, excessive tearing, cloudiness in the eyes or sensitivity to light. Microsurgery or laser surgery may correct structural defects in the eyes; eye drops or other medications may also be used to help regulate fluid in the eye and lower pressure.  Our pediatric eye specialists are skilled in the use of all of these techniques to help children with glaucoma retain their vision.


Retinoblastoma is a tumor that arises from the retina.  It usually affects children less than 5 years of age and the average age of diagnosis is 12 to 18 months. This condition affects approximately 300 children per year in the United States. With current modalities of treatment, including radiation therapy, chemotherapy and surgery, the survival from retinoblastoma is more than 95%. However, early detection and intervention is very important to prevent spread to the brain and the rest of the body. Our pediatric eye care specialists work with oncologists, neurosurgeons and radiologists for treatment of this condition. Read more about Retinoblastoma by clicking here.

Ocular Oncology

Ocular oncology is a subspecialty of ophthalmology that deals with cancer and the eye. Both adults and children can develop cancers in the eye. For more information on ocular oncology at UofL Physicians – Pediatric Eye Specialists, click here.

Physicians in this practice may not see patients at all locations listed below. For details, please call the appointment line for the location you are interested in visiting.

To make an appointment with UofL Physicians - Pediatric Eye Specialists, call 502-588-0550.

Offices and Clinics

  • Downtown Office – Kentucky Lions Eye Center
    301 E. Muhammad Ali Blvd.
    Louisville, Kentucky 40202
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  • Springs Medical Center
    6400 Dutchmans Parkway
    Suite 310
    Louisville, Kentucky 40205
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  • Jeffersonville Office
    1305 Wall St
    Jeffersonville, Indiana 47130
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  • Owensboro - The Springs Health Centre
    2200 E. Parrish Ave.
    Building B, Suite 101
    Owensboro, Kentucky 42303
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  • Campbellsville Office
    1800 Old Lebanon Road
    Campbellsville, Kentucky 42718
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Hospital Affiliations

  • Norton Children’s Hospital

Our pediatric eye specialists have extensive training in the diseases and conditions that affect children’s eyes. In addition to training at some of the finest institutions in the United States, our chief of UofL Physicians - Pediatric Eye Specialists, Dr. Rahul Bhola, has worked extensively overseas and gained experience treating some of the most complicated eye diseases.

As part of the UofL Physicians team, our pediatric eye specialists frequently meet with other UofL Physicians specialists to evaluate and discuss our patients’ treatment.  These specialists include pediatricians, endocrinologists, neurologists and neurosurgeons. They also work closely with numerous doctors in the Louisville, Southern Indiana and other Kentucky communities to ensure a team approach to each individual child’s eye care.

Our eye specialists have access to the latest treatments and clinical trials for patients with various eye diseases and conditions, through collaborations with doctors and scientists here and at other institutions worldwide.

Next Steps

For more information or to make an appointment,
call 502-588-6000