Pediatric Ophthalmology

Pediatric Ophthalmology 2017-11-16T20:09:01+00:00

Pediatric Ophthalmology

What is a Pediatric Ophthalmologist?

The following information is from the American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus. Their website at provides a wealth of information regarding pediatric ophthalmology, including an excellent glossary of eye terms and conditions.

A pediatric ophthalmologist is a medical and surgical doctor (an Eye MD) who graduated from medical school and specializes in the care of children’s eyes.  All ophthalmologists have training in children’s eye disorders, but the pediatric ophthalmologist has additional training, experience, and expertise in examining children, and has the greatest knowledge of possible conditions that affect the pediatric patient and his/her eyes.  Neurologic development of vision occurs up until approximately age 12 years. Misalignment of the eyes (strabismus), uncorrected refractive error (myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism), and asymmetry of refractive error (anisometropia) between the two eyes can negatively affect this development and cause amblyopia (“lazy eye”).  If these conditions are diagnosed and treated early, good vision can develop and can be maintained.  Certain diseases elsewhere in the body, such as diabetes, can affect the eyes, and the pediatric ophthalmologist addresses these, as well.

What to expect at your visit

A complete eye exam generally takes from 1.5 to 2 hours. During the examination your child’s eyes may be dilated.  Dilation causes the pupils to stay enlarged so that a thorough examination of the retina and optic nerves can be performed.  Dilating drops also cause blurred near vision by decreasing the eyes’ ability to focus.  This allows the doctor to determine your child’s glasses prescription.  The dilating drops usually last for 12-24 hours but the blurriness will typically resolve in 4-6 hours.  Your child can return to school, but you may want to alert the teacher that the eyes were dilated.

Important Note to all New Patients

The majority of New Patient exams are billed to your medical, not vision, insurance.  Initial visits constitute a complete medical examination of the eyes!

What is AAPOS and what are the requirements to become of member of AAPOS? 2017-04-20T02:26:32+00:00

AAPOS is the American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus. To be an active member of AAPOS, a Pediatric Ophthalmologist has to complete one or two additional years of approved fellowship training following a three-year residency in comprehensive ophthalmology. Members are certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology.  A pediatric ophthalmologist devotes at least 75% of his/her practice to the treatment of children, and of adults with strabismus.

What types of examinations do pediatric ophthalmologists perform? 2017-04-20T02:26:53+00:00

Vision assessment- Particular skills are needed to test a child’s eyesight, especially in the pre-school child. Different methods are used for different ages.

Determination of refractive error (the need for and strength of glasses) – This testing is performed after dilation in most pediatric patients to ascertain an objective measurement.

Motility examinations- Quantitative measurements of ocular misalignment are necessary for planning medical and surgical management of strabismus.

Biomicroscopy and dilated fundus examinations- These are necessary to investigate for the presence of eye disease associated with systemic diseases such as diabetes, juvenile idiopathic arthritis, genetic abnormalities, neurologic pathology (increased intracranial pressure), as well as specific ocular conditions such as cataracts and glaucoma.

Examination under anesthesia (EUA) – This may be necessary to diagnose and/or treat conditions in patients who will not allow adequate examination/treatment in the office.

Monitor diseases over time and determine if the treatment is working properly, and make appropriate modifications if it is not.

What kinds of treatments do pediatric ophthalmologists provide? 2017-04-20T02:27:03+00:00

Medical treatments:

  • Prescriptions for glasses and/or contact lenses.
  • Amblyopia (“lazy eye”) therapy including glasses, patching and pharmacologic treatment.
  • Topical and or/systemic therapy for eye infections, chalazia, glaucoma, blocked tear ducts, and inflammation on the eye or in the eye.  Medicines include antibiotics, antivirals and steroids.

Surgical Procedures:

  • Probe and Irrigation for congenital nasolacrimal duct obstruction (blocked tear duct).
  • Excision of chalazia.
  • Eye muscle surgery for strabismus.
  • Pediatric cataract extraction including use of intraocular lenses (IOLs).

The staff and Dr. Gertsch are very nice and easy to work with. They make you feel like family. I would HIGHLY recommend Dr. Gertsch to all my family and friends. He did an excellent job with my eyes. I was very pleased.

Linda Dalton

Pleasant and caring staff. Dr. Gertsch is great


Staff was patient. Dr was amazing with my daughter and gave me thorough feedback

Ellena Saavedra

I was blown away at the care we received! They were so patient with my child. They answered question after question that I had. It was my daughter’s nap time when we started trying on glasses for her and Stephanie was so patient. She sat there with us until I could rock her to sleep. We tried on dozens of glasses and I still couldn’t decide and she ordered not one but two frames so that when they came in I could choose from two!! Amazing people and experience!

Emma Ford

Staff was friendly and treated my boy well. Even when he was running for the door. Office is nice and has a lot to keep the kids busy while they wait.


Great company and staff! Very good with children!


Melissa and Dr. Gertch were both a “10”. Very professional, warm and friendly. This was my first visit with him and I would not hesitate to encourage anyone to see him professionally. I have been under Melissa’s care before. She is confident and caring. Dr. Payne and staff are always on my recommended list to friends. Sally Boyd

Sara Boyd

We came to North Georgia Eye Clinic for our 2 year old son. Dr. Gertsch and his staff were great with him. We received prompt care and very knowledgeable answers to the questions we had about our sons eye condition.

Logan Brewer

Loved the staff… Especially the Dr. Everyone was so kind and patient with my 2 boys. Great service from reception to the end when we were picking out glasses.

Braxton Scarbrough

Dr. Gertsch is incredible, professional and has a superb knowledge of the eyes. The wait is sometimes long and with kids can be tough but well worth it.

John Marple

Dr Gertsh was very professional and very caring. He even called to check on me the next day. Gave me his number if I needed to reach him. I did call him on Sunday to check about refill eye drops. Having a bad eye infection can be scary. Would recommend.

Judy Hallman

The dr was excellent with my 11 month old daughter.

Mattie Shuttlesworth

Dr. Gertsch was wonderful with my daughter! I will move her eye care to North Georgia Eye Clinic and Dr. Gertsch.

Josephine Corley

As a new patient I found the North Georgia Eye Clinic as very professional and welcoming. Pleased – what I like most I did not have to wait too long to see Dr. Kevin. By the way thank you all for treating my son with such good care. We will be happy to go see you again.

Ivan Alvarez

Everything was great! They got me in with Dr Gertsch the very next morning! I was very relieved considering how nervous I was … Loved Dr Gertsch! He was very kind, thorough, and great with my daughter! I’m confident he’s going to help us get my daughter’s eye working great! So glad we found him!

JayLynn Greer

My 3 year old son had to go in for his first eye visit with Dr. Gertsch and we absolutely loved him! He was amazing with keeping him calm and comfortable, he talked and played with him the entire time. He took as much time as I needed for any questioned and concerns that I had and explain everything to me in a way I could understand. The staff there was also great with him and very very friendly. The office is about a 45 minute drive from my house but I would definitely make the drive every time. I couldn’t of been any happier with the visit.

Isaiah Burton

We had a fantastic experience with Dr. Gertsch. He is great with kids!


Always a taken care of. My son’s vision has become so much better with the docs care. The last eye doc we took him took didn’t seem to care. I appreciate all they have done here to help my son.

Michael Martin

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