New York's Trusted Source for Pediatric Ophthalmology & Adult Strabismus

Overview | Glasses | Strabismus | Amblyopia | False Strabismus | Cataracts | Eye Muscle Surgery
H. Jay Wisnicki, MD
"I'm only here for one reason: to help people see better. If your eyes have a problem, I want to help."


Dr. H. Jay Wisnicki has over 20 years of specialized care in pediatric ophthalmology and adult strabismus.

He frequently volunteers with Orbis International to save the sight of children in developing countries.

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235 Park Avenue South
(at 19th Street)
2nd Floor
New York, NY 10003
(212) 844-2020 TEL
(212) 844-8221 FAX

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What is an Ophthalmologist?

Topic Contents:
What is an Ophthalmologist?
What is a Pediatric Ophthalmologist?
What is Total Eye Care?
Comprehensive Medical Eye Exam

An ophthalmologist is a medical doctor (M.D. or osteopath) who has the training to perform a comprehensive medical eye examination and is legally and professionally qualified to diagnose and treat all eye problems. Trained as a physician and surgeon, an ophthalmologist graduates from medical school with a degree similar to that of an obstetrician or a cardiac surgeon.

After completing a hospital-based internship, the ophthalmologist undergoes three or more additional years of training in the medical specialty of ophthalmology, the study of the eye and its related systems. An ophthalmologist is the only doctor and the only eye care practitioner with such medical training.

Some ophthalmologists sub-specialize in specific eye problems. These subspecialties include children's eye problems, corneal diseases, retinal and vitreous diseases, glaucoma, plastic surgery, neurological disorders and low vision.

Measurement of vision for glasses and contact lenses can be performed by an ophthalmologist or an optometrist (O.D). An optician dispenses glasses prescribed by either of the other two specialists.

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What is a Pediatric Ophthalmologist?

If your child has an eye problem, is having difficulty with a vision screening exam, or needs surgery for an illness affecting the eyes, a Pediatric Ophthalmologist has the experience and qualifications to treat your child.

What kind of training do pediatric ophthalmologists have?

Pediatric ophthalmologists are medical doctors who have had

  • At least 4 years of medical school

  • One year of medical or surgical internship

  • At least 3 additional years of residency training in ophthalmology

  • At least one additional year of fellowship training in pediatric ophthalmology

What types of treatments do pediatric ophthalmologists provide?

Pediatric ophthalmologists can diagnose, treat and manage all children's eye problems. Pediatric ophthalmologists generally provide the following services:

  • Eye exams

  • Prescribe eyeglasses and contact lenses

  • Perform surgery, microsurgery, and laser surgery (for problems like weak eye muscles, crossed eyes, roving eyes, blocked tear ducts and infections)

  • Diagnose problems of the eye caused by diseases of the body such as diabetes or juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA)

  • Diagnose visual processing disorders

  • Care for eye injuries

Pediatric ophthalmologists -- the best care for children

Children are not just small adults. They cannot always say what is bothering them. They cannot always answer medical questions, and are not always able to be patient and cooperative during a medical examination. Pediatric ophthalmologists know how to examine and treat children in a way that makes them relaxed and cooperative. In addition, pediatric ophthalmologists use equipment specially designed for children. Most pediatric ophthalmologists' offices are arranged and decorated with children in mind. This includes the examination rooms and waiting rooms, which may have toys, videos and reading materials for children. This helps create a comfortable and non-threatening environment for your child.

If your pediatrician suggests that your child have his eyes checked, a pediatric ophthalmologist has the widest range of treatment options, the most extensive and comprehensive training, and the greatest expertise in dealing with children and in treating children's eye disorders.

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What is Total Eye Care?

Total eye care is a determination of the health of the eye as well as visual acuity. It includes:

Medical care: performing comprehensive medical eye examinations, diagnosing and treating a wide range of eye diseases, prescribing appropriate medications, and proper referral to other physicians for diseases of the body affecting the eyes;

Surgical care: performing eye surgery and postoperative care;

Optical care: prescribing eyeglasses, contact lenses or other visual aids.

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A Comprehensive Medical Eye Examination

Your ophthalmologist gets acquainted with you and your eyes by reviewing your current symptoms as well as your medical and ocular history. The comprehensive medical eye examination that follows includes not only the measurement of vision, but also a determination of the health of the eye in order to diagnose conditions or diseases that might interfere with your vision.

Since the human eye is connected to the brain and circulatory (blood vessel) system, your ophthalmologist may also be able to detect disease in the brain or elsewhere in the body which is revealed in the eyes. For example, the medical eye examination may find the beginning of sight- or health-threatening conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, arteriosclerosis, brain tumor, multiple sclerosis, kidney disease, and blood disease or infection (including AIDS).

The components of the examination vary depending on your age, the date of your last exam, your family medical history and the nature of your eye problem. Some preliminary tests may be performed by the ophthalmologist's technician or other professional assistants. The comprehensive examination may include:

  • Visual acuity measurement

  • Determining the need for corrective lenses ("refraction")

  • Eye muscle coordinationPupillary responses to light

  • Testing side (peripheral) vision

  • Screening for glaucoma by measuring intraocular pressure (eye drops may be used)

  • Checking the eyelids and other tissues around the eye

  • Microscopic inspection of tissues within the eye

  • Examination of optic nerve and retina, the nerve layer at the rear of the eye, with the viewing light of an ophthalmoscope (eye drops may be used)

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