Pediatric Ophthalmology

Appointment New Patient Appointment or 214-645-2020

What Is Pediatric Ophthalmology?

Pediatric ophthalmologists in the Department of Ophthalmology offer comprehensive care, including diagnosis, treatment, and management, for children’s eye diseases and adult strabismus (deviated eyes). We specialize in inherited eye disorders such as congenital (present since birth) glaucoma and cataracts.

Specialized Care for Children’s Eye Disorders and Diseases

Pediatric ophthalmologists at UT Southwestern Medical Center focus on care for children with all types of eye conditions, including inherited disorders. With specialized training in diagnosis and treatment of pediatric eye disease, our doctors provide personalized care for our youngest patients in Dallas, Fort Worth, Frisco, and Plano.

Our doctors see patients at the Children's Medical Center Dallas and Children's Medical Center Plano.

Conditions We Treat

Our pediatric ophthalmologists treat children who have eye conditions such as:

  • Amblyopia: Lazy eye
  • Anisometropia: Unequal focus in a person’s eyes
  • Congenital cataracts: Cataracts that develop in newborns
  • Dissociated vertical deviation: One eye that drifts slowly upward
  • Double Vision (diplopia): Usually occurs when eyes don't line up on a target. It can be mild, creating "ghosting" of the image, or more severe, when two distinct images of one object are seen. Causes include misalignment of the eyes, weak eye muscle, head concussion, stroke, nerve palsy, and diabetes. It occasionally occurs in one eye, which can signal a defect in the retina or cornea
  • Esotropia: One or both eyes that turn inward, sometimes called crossed eyes
  • Exotropia: One or both eyes that turn outward
  • Ptosis: Drooping eyelid
  • Ocular infections: Bacterial, viral, or fungal infections in the eye, eyelid, or surrounding areas
  • Ocular trauma: Injury to the eye, eyelid, or surrounding areas
  • Refraction: Vision errors such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism
  • Retinoblastoma: A rare eye cancer that most commonly affects children under the age of 5
  • Retinopathy of prematurity: Eye disorder of the retina (back layer of the eye) that primarily affects premature babies
  • Strabismus: Misalignment of the eyes, either upward, downward, outward, or inward, which can sometimes develop in adults or not be diagnosed until adulthood
  • Superior oblique palsy: Disorder of the fourth cranial nerve that causes weakness in the eye muscle (superior oblique), resulting in misaligned eyes
  • Uveitis: Group of inflammatory diseases that causes swelling in the middle layer of the eye and can lead to vision loss

UT Southwestern pediatric eye specialists also treat children with rare, inherited disorders such as:

  • Albinism: Disorder in which the body cannot produce melanin, the substance that provides color to skin, hair and eyes, which causes several eye and vision problems
  • Aniridia: Condition in which the iris (colored part of the eye) is partially or completely missing
  • Choroideremia: Condition that causes retina degeneration and causes gradual but severe vision loss
  • Cone dystrophy: Group of disorders that affect cone cells in the retina
  • Congenital stationary night blindness: Condition affecting the retina that causes difficulty seeing in low light
  • Leber congenital amaurosis: Disorder affecting the retina that can cause blindness at birth
  • Retinitis pigmentosa: Group of disorders that cause cells in the retina to break down
  • Stargardt's disease: Juvenile macular degeneration
  • X-linked juvenile retinoschisis: Disorder affecting the retina and appearing mostly in boys

Meet Our Pediatric Ophthalmology Specialists

Jennifer Cao

Meet Dr. Jennifer Cao

Jennifer Cao, M.D., specializes in pediatric uveitis and ocular immunologic diseases. Dr. Cao has lectured widely and published numerous original research articles, monographs, and case reports related to her areas of expertise.

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S. Serdar Dogan

Meet Dr. S. Serdar Dogan

S. Serdar Dogan, M.D., specializes in corneal and external eye diseases,  cataract and refractive surgery, pediatric ophthalmology, strabismus, and comprehensive ophthalmology. Dr. Dogan focuses on providing customized treatments for his patients using the latest ophthalmologic advancements.

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Jessica Thayer

Meet Dr. Jessica Thayer

Jessica Thayer, M.D., specializes in retinopathy of prematurity (ROP), strabismus (eye misalignment), and pediatric cataract surgery. She has advanced training in pediatric ophthalmology and joined the UT Southwestern faculty in 2021.

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Serena Wang

Meet Dr. Serena Wang

Serena Xiaohong Wang, M.D., specializes in pediatric ophthalmology, pediatric cataracts, and adult strabismus, with a specialty interest in pediatric cataract surgery and treatment. She has published numerous articles resulting from her pediatric ophthalmology research, especially on the treatment of pediatric cataracts.

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David Weakley

Meet Dr. David Weakley

David Robert Weakley Jr., M.D., specializes in pediatric ophthalmology and strabismus. He serves as the Director of Pediatric Ophthalmology for the Department of Ophthalmology at UT Southwestern Medical Center.

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