Pediatrics, Special Needs, and Myopia Control
Dr. Colton pursued additional training at The University of Houston to provide care for children who are non-verbal, have special needs, or have learning disabilities. Dr. Colton has the knowledge, tools, and patience to assess the vision, health, and glasses prescription of a child without needing them to answer any questions. Dr. Colton loves playing with his own four small children, and works with the youth choir at his church.
Ages 0-1: Newborns
Dr. Colton will examine your newborn for congenital conditions such as high refractive error, strabismus, cataracts, glaucoma, eye cancers, early hydrocephalus, and blocked tear ducts. Infants who appear happy and recognize faces can still suffer from any of these diseases, and the earlier they are corrected, the better the outcome.
Ages 2-4: Toddlers
Toddlers in play groups or day care are prone to viral and bacterial infections which can be treated by Dr. Bruce Colton. High refractive error, strabismus, and congenital glaucoma can appear for the first time during this stage of life.
Ages 5-9: Kiddos
Starting school and organized activities puts a high visual demand on your kids that they are not used to. Focusing problems such as accommodative paresis and convergence insufficiency are sometimes first detectable at this age. Retinal exams can show the first signs of type 1 diabetes, and certain leukemias.
Ages 10-18: Tweens + Teens
Dr. Colton is ahead of the curve with myopia control technology. Being fitted in a specific multifocal contact lens can prevent or even stop your eyes from getting worse each year. This age range is the most at risk for becoming more nearsighted each year. Dr. Colton will ensure that vision does not limit your child’s success in school.
Children with special needs deserve a compassionate doctor who can connect with them. They often suffer from unique eye and vision problems. Dr. Colton has experience serving as a volunteer at the Houston and Arlington Special Olympics to vision screen athletes.
Autism Spectrum – Some children just need a doctor who will listen to their needs, not force tests on them, and complete the exam using non-invasive methods they are comfortable with. Some children are non-verbal, and Dr. Colton can easily adapt for them, regardless of their ability. If they can point to shapes or match, we will use the skills they have. If they become non-responsive, Dr. Colton will continue the exam using methods that do not require response. If they become upset due to the new environment, Dr. Colton is very comfortable working with them to develop confidence and trust. We also carry glasses frames that cater to your child’s needs – we have frames that are extremely lightweight (if your child has an aversion to sensory touch), frames that are virtually unbreakable (if your child likes to manipulate objects), and we warranty all of our work.
ADHD – Children who struggle with Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder can have a very difficult time completing school work when their visual system is not performing at its best. Some may attribute all under-performance to ADHD, when in reality a multi-disciplinary approach can yield much greater function and happiness. Some eye disorders still allow your child to read the 20/20 line, but only with eyestrain, or only intermittently in and out of focus, or only with one eye at a time, or only across the room but not up close at their desk. These subtle challenges often go undiagnosed and untreated. Dr. Colton will go the extra mile in his exam to rule out less common vision disorders, and offer solutions that enable your child to reach their true potential.
Hearing Loss – Children with hearing loss rely very heavily on their vision. Dr. Colton only knows how to say “thank you” in sign language, but he is very comfortable talking clearly with natural face and hand gestures so that he is easier to read. He faces and maintains eye contact with the patient he is treating, even if there is a translator present. Some inner-ear conditions will affect eye movements, and require coordination of doctors to properly treat. All children with hearing loss will be screened by Dr. Colton for Usher’s syndrome, which can unexpectedly harm their vision years after the hearing loss is evident. Dr. Colton and his staff are experienced selecting and adjusting glasses to fit comfortably with hearing aids.
Down Syndrome – Children with Trisomy 21 are a joy to work with for Dr. Colton. Though these children often do very well cooperating during an exam, they are more likely to suffer from specific eye conditions, including high refractive error (needing glasses to see clearly), amblyopia (one eye sees worse), nystagmus (eyes shake), strabismus (one eye turns), accommodative dysfunction (can’t focus at near), cataracts at a young age, glaucoma (nerve damage from high eye pressure), and retinovascular anomalies. Up to 87% of children with Down Syndrome will need glasses by the time they enter preschool. Dr. Colton is aware of these risks and will evaluate and treat them in a way that complements your child’s lifestyle, comfort, and needs. We also carry glasses frames specifically designed for kids with low nasal bridges associated with Down Syndrome, and allow them to see comfortably.
Cerebral Palsy – Children with Cerebral Palsy each have their own unique challenges and complications, including in their visual system. They are much more likely to require a strong glasses prescription to see clearly, which they need in order to develop in other areas. Occasionally a child may suffer from peripheral visual field loss, oculomotor disorders affecting eye movements, and cortical visual impairment (when the eyes are healthy but the visual processing center of the brain is not performing). Dr. Colton is comfortable working with your child’s abilities and needs in order to determine what challenges they have and how their visual needs can be best met.
Cancer & Auto-Immune Diseases – Often these diseases are first discovered in children during a thorough eye exam. Leukemia causes specific types of retinal bleeding, and Auto-Immune Diseases in children cause chronic internal eye inflammation. Dr. Colton has experience seeing patients at Baylor Hospital in Houston and can confidently coordinate your child’s eye care with their Oncologist, Rheumatologist, and Primary Care Physician. The eye complications require their own additional treatment, and Dr. Colton is committed to help your child see clearly and comfortably.
Premature Babies – When a baby is born prematurely they have a high risk of specific eye complications shortly after birth, including Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP). This severe condition can lead to strabismus, glaucoma, retinal scarring, and even permanent blindness if not treated in time. Dr. Colton will take the time with pre-mature babies to evaluate their entire retina without the risks of general anesthesia often used by surgeons. If retinopathy of prematurity is found and needs to be treated, Dr. Colton has a retina specialist who will give you the most proven and safe treatment options.