In This Section

When your child needs to see an eye care specialist, you want a doctor who specializes in caring for kids — someone who’s highly skilled and makes your child feel comfortable.

PedsOphthalmology
Back row, left to right: Sarah Nigus; Paige Davison; DLJ; Morgan Melloway. Front row, left to right: Mohannad Al-Samarraie, MD; Maggie Cardonell, MD; Raneat Cohen, OD; and Kelli Shaon, OD.

At University of Missouri Women’s and Children’s Hospital, that’s our specialty. Our pediatric eye care team works exclusively with children of different ages. Our team includes professional pediatric ophthalmologists and pediatric optometrists, resident physicians and specialized ophthalmic technicians. You can depend on a welcoming, kid-friendly environment that puts your child at ease. We deliver gentle, compassionate care with a smile.

When you choose MU Health Care, you receive a level of care and range of services you can only find at an academic health center. We provide everything from routine eye exams and eyeglass prescriptions to surgical management and expert care for complex eye diseases. It’s comforting to know that whatever health care needs your child has, you’ll find the area’s leading care right here.

As central Missouri’s only pediatric eye care clinic, our focus is on delivering exceptional care to kids, including on-site Mizzou Optical retail shops that specialize in fitting infants and children of all ages. Our shops carry more than 100 children’s frames in stock and offer same-day service for select prescriptions.

Attention new patients: We ask new patients to our clinic download and fill out new patient paperwork and bring it with them to the first appointment. 

Leading pediatric eye care

Our pediatric ophthalmologists and optometrists work with nurses, opticians and other clinicians to offer your child comprehensive care. Whatever level of care your child needs, we keep you well-informed to ensure you’re involved every step of the way. You play an important part in your child’s care.

We offer the most sophisticated diagnostic technology and advanced expertise in diagnosing and treating eye conditions, including:

  • Amblyopia (lazy eye): This eye disorder happens when vision in one eye is reduced due to a lack of stimulation in nerve pathways. Most often, the other eye is then favored. Amblyopia is a common eye disorder and often occurs in early childhood.
  • Cataract: Children can develop cataracts, a condition where the lens of the eyes becomes cloudy. This rare condition can result in poor vision and is treatable. 
  • Convergence insufficiency: This common disorder occurs when vision is limited at close proximity to an object. Often times, one eye will turn outward when attempting to focus on a close object.
  • Glaucoma and other genetic eye diseases: Damage to the optic nerve due to high eye pressure is known to cause a group of eye diseases called glaucoma. Pediatric glaucoma is rare and is usually diagnosed during infancy. 
  • Metabolic and systemic disease
  • Misaligned eyes (strabismus): A child with strabismus has eyes that do not look in the same place at the same time. This common disorder is also referred to as crossed eyes. 
  • Tearing problems: Excessive tearing, leading to watery eyes, in a child’s eye is most common after birth. This occurs due to lack of tear duct drainage and is predominantly seen in children under age 12.
  • Refractive error
    • Myopia or myopia control: this disorder is defined when a child can see close objects clearer than objects that are further away. It also so referred to as being nearsighted.
    • Hyperopia: often referred to as being farsighted, a child can see further items clearer than items close to them.
    • Astigmatism: the lens of the eyes are uneven, resulting in blurred vision at close or far proximity. This often happens in conjunction with myopia or hyperopia. 
  • Retinopathy of prematurity: This condition is seen in premature children when abnormal blood vessels develop in the retina, causing sight problems from low to high severity. 

We’ll design a treatment plan that’s personalized to your child’s needs, which can include vision prescriptions, occlusion therapy, surgical management or other services to improve your child’s vision health and overall well-being.

An exceptional teaching environment 

While focusing on your child’s eye health and managing different conditions with state-of-the-art technologies, our pediatric ophthalmology experts offer their services in an exceptional academic and teaching environment. Our providers are part of an academic health system, and that means they work with trainees from around the nation who come to learn about pediatric eye care. The pediatric eye care team is also involved in research with hopes to positively change pediatric eye health worldwide. Our doctors also serve as educators and researchers at University of Missouri School of Medicine, so we remain on the forefront of eye and vision care.

Our clinic is currently enrolling children ages 6-12 years old who have been diagnosed with myopia, or nearsightedness, in a clinical trial to learn if high doses of riboflavin help improve vision. If you're interested, please download our PDF to learn more.