Dr. Amir Reza Hajrasouliha on the Biggest Challenges in Pediatric Retina Care

Dr. Amir Reza Hajrasouliha

January 11, 2021

Most humans rely on their sight more than any other sense. Parents should take extra care to watch out for the eye health of their children. It’s wise to monitor your child’s vision and to take them for regular exams to a pediatric ophthalmologist or optometrist. In some cases in which the retina is involved, it is wise to be referred to a pediatric retina ophthalmologist like Dr. Amir Reza Hajrasouliha.

“Eye health is vital, and treating children can be especially difficult,” Dr. Amir Reza Hajrasouliha says. “Kids can’t communicate as easily as many adults. They can also be impatient as well. When possible, it’s best to take your kids to an ophthalmologist who’s good with kids.”

As children grow, their eyes will grow and change with them. While most children will not suffer serious issues as their eyes grow, some children will suffer from serious and complicated retina problems.

“Children can suffer from many retina diseases and other issues, including retinopathy of prematurity (ROP), Stickler syndrome pediatric retinal detachment, retinoblastoma, and various other conditions,” Dr. Amir Reza Hajrasouliha points out. “These issues can be very complex, and the child’s ever-changing body can present challenges.”

While doctors have been conducting retina research for years, pediatric retina is a less studied subject. The smaller body of history and work makes the pediatric retina even more difficult.

“It is naive to see pediatric medical problems as small versions of adult disease. Pediatric disease and the approach to their treatment differs from adults,” Dr. Amir Reza Hajrasouliha says, “and it’s a simple fact that there’s not nearly as much research and data available in the pediatric retina compared to adult retina. That presents a major challenge.”

Another major issue with pediatric retina is that many ophthalmologists only work in the field part-time. Often, the pediatric retina is handled by ophthalmologists on a case-by-case basis and there are few dedicated experts.

“I don’t know of many dedicated pediatric retina ophthalmologists,” Dr. Amir Reza Hajrasouliha says. “Dedicated experts are in the best position to advance most fields. They work on the problems day in and day out. And there’s simply fewer of them in the pediatric retina.”

Surgery and complicated procedures can be especially difficult when children are involved. At the same time, doctors need to be careful, or they could do more damage than good. Risks are typically high when children are involved, Dr. Amir Reza Hajrasouliha believes.

Dr. Amir Reza Hajrasouliha Offers Some Words of Advice for Aspiring Pediatric Retina ophthalmologists

“One mistake I see some young ophthalmologists make is thinking that kids are basically tiny adults. They’re not. They are very different. Disposition, manners, the body itself, attention spans, communication, everything is different,” Dr. Amir Reza Hajrasouliha says. “You absolutely must respect that. If you don’t, you’re setting yourself up for problems.

Dr. Amir Reza Hajrasouliha works with children and is involved in the pediatric retina, so he’s learned a lot of first hands.