Pediatric Ophthalmologist

Parent Q&A

Select any title to view the full question and replies.

  • Our family is moving to Berkeley from DC this summer and we're looking for a pediatric ophthalmologist in the East Bay for our 4.5 year old. She has been treated for the past few years here in DC for strabismus and wears glasses. Thanks!

    Our daughter is an ophthalmology patient of Dr. Taliva Martin at Sutter Health (we go to the Dublin location but I believe she sees patients in Fremont also).  It's a schlep from our house in Oakland, but Dr. Martin, and in particular her ophthalmology tech Charlotte ("Charlie") are AMAZING with kids.  It's the only medical appointment my daughter actively looks forward to.  I can't recommend the practice highly enough -- they run on time, communicate clearly, and really listen. 

    Dr. Taliva Martin is fantastic. She has Offices in Dublin and Fremont. A bit of a drive from Oakland/Berkeley area but worth it.

    I don’t have an East Bay recommendation, but we found the drive into San Francisco so worth it for the many years that Dr William Good took care of our daughter’s eyes. She also had strabismus and had surgery with Dr Good at age 2 and saw him regularly for the next 16 years. He is highly skilled and also has an absolutely lovely and personable/warm demeanor. 

    I had positive experiences with Dr. Good in SF when my twins were infants and had to be seen. More recently (age 4-6) we've been seeing Dr. Qureshi at the UCSF Pediatric Ophthalmology clinic in Oakland (5275 Claremont Ave) and that's been a positive experience as well. The wait times for appointments are long (like several months) so book far in advance. 

    I second the recommendation for Dr. Qureshi, he’s been great for our toddler with multiple issues including strabismus. As the prior poster mentioned, he books far in advance and often runs behind schedule because he has so many patients and is called away for emergency surgeries, as he’s one of few providers who accept Medi-Cal. We also saw Dr. Tina Chou once for a second opinion and really liked her, too. She’s in Walnut Creek, a longer drive from Berkeley, but it might be an easier to get appointments because she doesn’t do surgery anymore. Both of them spent a lot of time with our son and were very thorough, great with kids and also the parents. 

    Thank you so much for these helpful responses!

  • Does anyone have recommendations for pediatric ophthalmologists in the Bay Area with experience or specialization with persistent fetal vasculature? 

    My 1yo nephew was diagnosed with PFV at 3 months of age. In his case, fluid builds up behind his eye which leads to a build up of pressure which threatens his eye site. To date, he has had 4 surgeries attempting to permanently reduce the pressure but they have only been able to reduce the pressure temporarily. 

    My brother and his family would like to relocate to the Bay Area but are concerned with finding a doctor with expertise in this area. 

    Hi there!

    I recommend the ophthalmology team at UCSF. He will very likely need various specialists for his condition, and that network is great at coordinating care and ensuring each aspect of his health (eye or otherwise) is considered while staying updated with current therapies. Also, some of their ophthalmology specialists are located at their East Bay location on San Pablo Ave in Berkeley, so they may not need to go to San Francisco very often. 

  • Hi,

    My daughter is 4 1/2 year old and she has lazy eye. Looking a good Pediatric Ophthalmologist near Sunnyvale (South Bay area).

    Thank you.

    We worked with Dr Mosche Mendelson for diagnosis, and Dr Colin Kageyama for alternative treatment. There's a lot of options out there. All the best!

    Thank you so much.

  • Pediatric Cataracts Surgery

    (4 replies)


    We were just told that our 3-year-old has cataracts in one eye and needs surgery within the next weeks. From what I read, the doctor's experience is paramount in this kind of surgeries.

    Any parent out there who went through the same and/or can recommend a doctor specialized in pediatric cataracts that we can get a second opinion from? 

    Thank you so much

    I don’t have any recommendations specific to pediatric cataracts. But we were referred to Dr. Rona Silkiss (link to bio below) about 5 years ago by my son’s pediatrician. She said at the time she thought Dr Silkriss was the best surgeon in the Bay Area for pediatric eye issues. We were impressed with her competence and skill with my son’s surgery. We also had a great experience with the outpatient surgery center next to UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital in Oakland. Everything went smoothly. Good luck to your family.

    Yes! Dr. Alejandra de Alba - Campomanes at UCSF. She is lovely, approachable, thoughtful and very skilled, therefore busy! Hopefully you can get in soon, but if not with her, then any of the pediatric ophthalmologists at UCSF (Mission Bay) are terrific- also Dr. Ying Han. The bonus of going to UCSF is that your child will be cared for by their excellent pediatric anesthesiologists during his/her surgery - which is reason enough to go to there, IMO. Best of luck. 

    I'm sorry your little one has to go through this. Our daughter had eye surgery for strabismus at age 2. It was a bit nerve wracking, but we felt confident putting her in the care of pediatric ophthalmologist Dr William Good. I did a lot of research and he was recommended many times as the best in the area. After 14 years of having Dr Good care for my daughter's vision, I can second that. Aside from his medical expertise, he also happens to be a lovely person who has shown genuine interest in watching our daughter grow over the years. He's always answered our questions thoroughly and thoughtfully and has a wonderful calm demeanor with children.

    We see Dr Good in San Francisco, but I think he also has offices in Marin and San Ramon. His San Francisco # is 415-202-1500.

    Hello - don't have experience with cataracts, but our son saw Rona Silkass from age 6-18 months for chronically blocked tear ducts that led to lots of eye infections. She ended up operating to insert a tube when he was 9 months after a few consultations, and removed it when he was 18 months. She doesn't have the warmest demeanor and doesn't specialize in pediatrics, but seemed really solid and experienced. I would warn you to schedule morning appointments since her office became incredibly busy with stupid-long wait times some afternoons. She was referred to us by our pediatrician, who is VERY careful about her referrals, so I put a lot of stock in that referral. But probably also worth asking for a referral for someone at Children's Hospital of Oakland, too. Best of luck to you!

  • Pediatric Ophthalmologist

    (9 replies)

    My daughter was diagnosed a few months ago with accommodative estropia. I want to get a second opinion on our treatment plan. We live in the East Bay, but I am open to traveling. Several of the doctors listed in the previous posts seem to be retired, as the posts are also many years old. Please send recommendations for ophthalmologists. Thank you, in advance! 

    Dr William Good (UCSF). He also has an office in the East Bay, I believe. He's a wonderful doctor and so great with kids, patient and kind..... he's been seeing our 13-year-old daughter since she was 2. He performed surgery when she was 3 and has been taking care of her ever since..... he's always known what to do and how to manage her strabismus. We are so, so happy we found him.

    I take my boys to the UC Berkeley Meredith Morgan Eye center and have only good things to say about the experience there. Good luck. 

    Dr. Kim Cooper in Burlingame is a wonderful, highly skilled Pediatric Ophthalmologist.  650-259-0300  She's in the office Monday-Wednesday.

    Dr. William Good in SF has a great bedside manner, experience, he's well respected, involved in research studies, etc. We've seen him for my son who had a pediatric cataract removed at age 1 for 12 years now.

    Try William Good at CPMC.  He was referred to us by my husband's ophthalmologist and we have been happy thus far.  

    Dr. William Good treated my son for the same condition (which has now completely resolved).  I was very happy with his diagnosis and treatment and highly recommend him.  He has two locations:  Good luck

    Love Taliva Martin. She has moved around a bit, but her current office is in Fremont. I'm a pediatrician and all the patients I refer to her love her. One of her residency supervisors said she was one of the best to ever come through the program. Highly recommend. 


    Try Dr. Prasad in Concord.  He helped us with a second opinion for our son.  I wasn't thrilled with Kaiser's assessment in Oakland.  Also, Dr. Tang (Blink Optometry) is great.  He and Dr. Prasad share a Dr. Darnel who is great woth kids!  Good luck!

    Walnut Creek mom of 7-yr old (with eye issues since about 4 yrs old)

    Try Dr. Bill Good in SF. On the peninsula Dr. Donna Ornitz or Dr. Kim Cooper. There's a shortage of pediatric eye drs right now. These three are the best.

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Questions Related Pages

Pediatric Opthomoligist for 8 year old

Dec 2011

My son is 8 years old now. He has been wearing glasses since he was 5. He has myopia and astigmatism. His sight is now around 4.50 right / 5.50 left. During the last ophthalmologist visit she has mentioned that his optic nerve is small. I am wondering whether any other parent also has experienced similar situation. I am looking for a good ophthalmologist who is an expert in myopia/ optic nerve issue. We live in East Bay but do not mind to drive for long distance if the Doctor is good. Please advice

I can recommend Dr. Selim Koseoglu at Children's Hospital. You'll be in very good hands. Anon

Opthalmologist for our son - Otis Paul or Nyongo ?

March 2011

We are trying to decide which pediatric opthalmologist to use for our son. We would like to know if anyone can recommend either Dr.Otis Paul in Walnut Creek or Dr. Omandi Nyong'O ( PAMF ). Thanks!

My now 10 year-old son began seeing Otis Paul when he was about 5 years old for Strabismus (one eye turned inward) at our pediatrician's recommendation. Dr. Paul was also highly recommended by an opthamologist friend in the South Bay. I liked that the doctor didn't automatically recommend surgery. Rather, we tried to correct his vision with a patch for about a year. I was surprised at how well Dr. Paul could know what eyeglass prescription to give my son, even when he was too little to read charts or vocalize what he was or wasn't seeing. When the doctor recommended surgery, we got a second opinion, which agreed with the first, and gave us greater comfort that we weren't rushing into something too quickly. Ultimately, my son had the surgery as an outpatient at Children's Hospital. We now do follow up about every 2 years, and each time the doctor sees my son, he says that the surgical correction is holding well. Dr. Paul is concerned about your bottom line, always recommending places to buy kids' glasses inexpensively. I would definitely recommend him. Glad my kid can see

Hi I highly recommend Dr. Nyongo with PAMF. He is a wonderful dr. and has been seeing my son who has a very rare eye condition since he was 12 days old. He is great with the kids and takes the time to explain everything to the parents. The only downside is that he can run late, so I suggest scheduling your appt so you are the first one in the morning. Good luck! ANON

I highly recommend you go to UC Berkeley School of OPtometry infant/toddler clinic. If your child needs surgery, I would recommend Dr. William Good. been there, done that

Pediatric ophthalmologists' different prescriptions

March 2011

My 4 year old is diagnosed with accomodative esotropia. We took him to a pediatric ophthalmologist who prescribed him with eyeglasses. The doctor is very well know in his area of expertise but he didn't answer our questions or bother to ease our concerns or explain the situation. For all our questions he has one line replies ,so we went for a second opinion. This time the doc gave us a presctiption thats not the same as the first doc !! Both doctors are well known and experts in their field. I emailed the first doc to confirm from him that the prescription was correct and would help our son's eyes and he is very confident ( ofcourse I didnt mention anyting anout the second opinion ) I don't want to take a third opinion because it would mean making my son go through the dilation and the lenghty tests all over again. We are confused about which prescription to go with.Please advice. Pearl

I was treated by Dr. Earl Stern as a young child and he was excellent. I do not know if he is one of the two doctors you mentioned. If not, you should consult him. anonymous

When a child has accommodative esotropia, they are usually very farsighted. Their eyes have to focus or accommodate so much, that their eyes cross. This is because everyone is ''hardwired'' so that when you accommodate, your eyes also converge (cross). The purpose of the glasses is to reduce the amount the child has to accommodate so their eyes don't cross. This is extremely important because IF the eyes continue to cross, the turned eye will stop developing normal vision and the child will become amblyopic--which means that the eye-brain connections don't develop normally and that eye will permanently see worse. The good part about accommodative esotropia is that it frequently can be corrected with glasses only and not surgery.

Now--as to which prescription is correct. There is no way of knowing this unless you have your child tested by a third doctor, and be dilated again. I strongly recommend that you DO NOT see another ophthalmologist. Those doctors are not trained nearly as well as optometrists are in determining glasses prescriptions. Why? Because they must spend a lot of their 3 year residency program learning how to do surgeries. Isn't determining a glasses prescription a relatively simple thing to do--not always, especially not when the patient is a small child or toddler.

I highly recommend that you go to UC Berkeley School of Optometry's Infant Toddler clinic. There you will find optometrists who do nothing but examine children. Yes, they will need to use eye drops again, but you will find that they will spend quite a lot of time with you explaining your child's condition, and making sure the prescription is correct. Also, it is important to know that children's prescriptions change rather rapidly as their bodies and eyes grow-- so don't expect that one pair of glasses will be the last pair of glasses. There will be many changes over the next several years, most likely.

Full disclosure: I am an optometrist. I did a residency in pediatrics at UC Berkeley. While there, I must tell you that we frequently fixed errors in pediatric ophthalmologist's prescriptions--even those that were well known in the community. I no longer work there, and although I could see you and your child in my clinic, my practice is not set up exclusively for kids like theirs is--trust me, your child will be much happier there. optometrist

My first advice is that you shouldn't feel like you need to sneak behind your doctor's back to get a second opinion. We have gotten second opinions on multiple occasions, and always with the blessing of our original doctor. If he has truly made a bad judgement, that can probably best be corrected by communication with another expert in his field; if your doc isn't willing to consider the possibility that he's wrong, well then you have another problem.

Secondly, in my experience treatment of esotropia is a bit trial-and-error, so it's possible that both doctors are equally right (or wrong) and that you'll need to make more adjustments to the prescription to get it just right.

Finally, you may want to see the optometrists in the binocular vision clinic at UC Berkeley. They're really good at this. spending a fortune on glasses

My 4 year old son also has accomodative esotropia (diagnosed at 2.5 yrs old). He is seen at the UC Berkeley Meredith Morgan Eye Center on campus. He wears really weak bifocals that allow the muscle to relax so his eye doesn't turn in. That along with varies other techniques used over the last couple years have made a tremendous difference. I highly recommend their services if your looking for another opinion. Feel free to get my email from the moderator if you would like to chat. Mom to son in glasses

My 4 year old son also has accomodative esotropia (diagnosed at 2.5 yrs old). He is seen at the UC Berkeley Meredith Morgan Eye Center on campus. He wears really weak bifocals that allow the muscle to relax so his eye doesn't turn in. That along with varies other techniques used over the last couple years have made a tremendous difference. I highly recommend their services if your looking for another opinion. Feel free to get my email from the moderator if you would like to chat. Mom to son in glasses

My daughter was diagnosed with accommodative esotropia when she was 3 years-old. We went through a similar situation where a very well known highly recommended SF ophthalmologist saw my daughter but didn't give me the warm and fuzzy feeling. I actually, took her to another opthamalogist AND to the UC Berkeley Optometry Center. She ended up with three different prescriptions!!!

The explanation I got was that there were varying thoughts and practices on how aggressively you deal with the ''focusing'' issue. At age 3 I think that it was also hard for my daughter to really articulate and explain what she was seeing so that makes it harder for doctors to gauge clarity and focus.

I ended up finding a third Opthamalogists that gave me the greatest comfort level. He was further away then any of the other doctors, but gave me the level of explanation and support that I needed. We've been seeing him for about 10 years with very good results. I did use the UC Berkeley Optometry Center for some eye training and did take their recommendation for eye patching.

My daughter is now 13, wears contacts and shows no sign of esotropia even she is fatigued. Most of her friends have absolutely no idea or recollection of her ''crossed-eyes''. So all-in-all I am happy with the advice that I got and seeing multiple doctors and finding the one that resonated with our family and issue was well worth the time and travel. Eva

Opthamologist for Astigmatism

Aug 2010

Hello, my 5 year old daughter was diagnosed with astigmatism and 20/60 vision. I would like to have a second opinion by a pediatric opthamologist. (How long is the wait?) I don't necessarily know if glasses will help or hinder her eye development. She is starting kindergarten and is apprehensive that the other children will laugh at her. Additionally, my in laws are not too happy, ''such a shame she's such a pretty girl'', and have already spoken of removing glasses for pictures etc. Any books to help with her self esteem? Thank you. glassesforS

I highly encourage you to get another opinion from an optometrist, not an ophthalmologist if the question is glasses only. Ophthalmologists primary training is in surgery. Optometrists do not do surgery--and receive much more training in refraction. I would highly recommend UC Berkeley's pediatric department as the place to go. As for the teasing--I have had glasses myself since age 2. I never had a moment's problem with being self-conscious, etc because so many people in my family had glasses. AND, my parents were clearly not embarrassed by my glasses. So, I think getting everyone in the family on the same page about the glasses is in order. Also, if your child has an astigmatism, her vision (brain-eye connections) have not been maturing as they should. Children are still developing their vision until about age 6--therefore, there is still time for her to catch up--but glasses must be worn full time to do so! glasses mama

Go to UC Berkeley Eye Center. They got excellent pediatric optometrists. Super kid friendly and very throughout examination. Our young daughter also has astigmatism and we couldn't have been happier with them. You might have to wait several weeks for appt though. We let our daughter to choose the first glasses just to make sure she would be comfortable wearing them. We made sure we would be wearing our own glasses (rather than contacts) during the first months. Make sure the grandparents get the right attitude. Praise your kid when she wears her glasses. Our kid has been very happy about her glasses as she sees better and doesn't get headaches. It was harder for mom (and grannies). anon

Won't your daughter be the same beautiful child you (and your in-laws presumably) have loved since the day she came into your lives, even if she wears glasses? If she needs glasses (and getting a second opinion if you have doubts is fine), please get them for her. They'll do her a world of good.

I can't speak to the self-esteem issue directly, but I'd be surprised if it is a problem. My daughter has worn glasses since she was almost two, so the issues are a little bit different, of course. However, she has never been the only child in her class who wears glasses; I'd say at least 15-20% of the other kids wear them. I remember that I was helping in her first grade classroom the day one of her girl classmates came wearing her glasses for the first time. Lots of kids admired them and many didn't even seem to notice them. If your daughter needs them too, let her choose (or at least help to choose) her frames, encourage her to wear them as prescribed, and DON'T EVER tell her that they somehow make her a less beautiful person. Mom of a proudly glasses-wearing daughter

The best way to find out how long the wait will be is to call the ophthalmologist. We've been very happy with William Good in Walnut Creek, but I'm not sure why you need a surgeon's opinion on this particular issue.

As for your daughter's apprehension, I've worn glasses since I was 9 and don't remember ever being made fun of - but I do remember resenting being told to take them off for pictures. My 4 year old son gets lots of positive feedback on his glasses and loves to wear them. She will definitely take cues from you (and your inlaws), so tell them to lay off and get her some really cute frames; people will go crazy for her! four-eyed dad

Ophthomology test for autistic 3-year-old

Feb 2010

Hello, I have 3yr.old son who has been diagonsed with ASD and global developmental delays . He has a lot of behavioural and sensory issues, we have tired couple of times for his audiology and opthomology test,but its always unsucessful. it feels i am stuck, any advice or recomendation. I am looking for suggestions for places other than regional centre. thanks

We see Dr. Tamura at kaiser which has been great. My daughter was initially referred for possible eye crossing, and when we saw him at 18 months he observed a mild assymetry that was normal for her age. We went back at age three for a recurring plugged tear duct. He used some drops with a little dye to observe the different rate of drainage and again wasn't too concerned (it was mainly a problem during colds and has gotten better on its own). In bad cases a tube could be inserted in the duct surgically for a while and later removed, which he didn't think was needed in our case. He was however concerned about the continued assymetry and has been folowing up with us every few months. If it becomes more of a problem he will order glasses. He has a great setup in his office with lots of toys that suddenly come to life to get kids to look in different directions. He is good with kids and parents and I like that he seems conservative in using interventions. Christine

Pediatric Ophthalmologist for possible surgery

Feb 2010

Hello! I am looking for a pediatric ophthalmologist for my 3yo son. We have just received a diagnosis that he may need eye surgery but our current doctor does not do the surgery himself. So, we're interested in hearing about other experiences with pediatric ophthalmologists who perform surgery. Recommendations as well as general feedback about your experiences (positive and negative) would be wonderful to hear. Thanks in advance, Ruth

In 2006, I responded to a related question by recommending Dr. Koseoglu--you can see my recommendation here . A Berkeley parent

My 3 year-old son sees Dr. Eddie Tamura at Kaiser (Oakland and Richmond). He was referred to us by his pediatric neurologist, Jean Hayward, as one of her top picks. So far we really like him (three visits but no surgery yet, although that may happen in the future for us too). If you have access to Kaiser, I hope you can meet with him. -Bridget

Pediatric Opthalmologist for Lazy eye

Sept 2009

Hi All In a recent visit to his grandparents eye doc, we realized that our son has Lazy eye. I did read up some articles on it and also came across one on BPN with some referrals in SF/Walnut creek etc. Can someone recommend Pediatric Ophthalmologist in San Jose area? We live in the south bay hence prefer in this area. also any other links to Lazy aye/amblyopia will be helpful. thanks in advance Shree

I know you said the south bay but I recommend the Meredith W. Morgan University Eye Center at UC Berkeley. My son has been seen there for almost a year for Accommodative Estropia. They have been excellent and we have seen huge improvements. Its worth the drive. Good luck! Mom with kid in glasses

We live in the East Bay but took our son to visit Douglas Fredrick for a second opinion before having surgery for strabismus. He is highly regarded by other ophthalmologists and optometrists that we've spoken with, and we appreciated his insights. He has offices in Los Gatos and Palo Alto. Kevin

Pediatric Ophthalmologist for 7-year-old

Feb 2008

We are looking for a pediatric opthamologist for our 7 year old son who may be having some tracking/reading eyesight issues. (He doesn't have vision problems per say, but we'd like a full assessment with a specialist to rule this out.) Any suggestions would be most appreciated. Anon.

Most ophthalmologists don't provide the services you describe. if you are concerned about tracking/reading issues, you need to seek out an optometrist who specializes in that area. I would recommend UC Berkeley School of Optometry's Binocular Vision/Visual Skills clinic. optometrist

Check out the UCBerkeley optometry clinic. They have a huge pediatric clinic. They'll do a complete evaluation and examination of your child in a separate kids area. My son had ambliopia years ago when he was 5 and we went there. They were realy thorough, fun, communicative and patient. Good luck, anon mom

Dr. William Good in San Ramon is an excellent Pediatric Ophthalmologist that we've used for many years. However, for reading/tracking issues I would recommend that you check with the UC Optometric Center (Meredith Eye Center) on the Berkeley Campus. We've had really good experience with their testing and treatment plans. Parent of child with vision issues...

I highly recommend the Binocular Vision Clinic at the UCB School of Optometry. They do a full examination of the kind you are seeking, and in addition provide treatment. They have practitioners specializing in children. My son actually enjoyed his visits there quite a bit, even the one in which he was given eyedrops (something he normally dreads as much as vaccines). Karen

I recommend Dr. Fredrick. Our ped made several recommendations and we went with Dr. Fredrick. My son has vision issues (genetic)and we've been seeing him for years now.
Douglas R Fredrick, MD Clinic: Medicine Specialties 730 Welch Rd Palo Alto, CA 94304 (650) 497-8201 Office: Ophthalmology 300 Pasteur Dr A157 MC 5308 Stanford, CA 94305 (650) 498-1984

Pediatric Ophthalmologist for baby's tracking problem

June 2006

We just got back from our son's 12 month appointment with our Pediatrician. We live in San Francisco. The doctor said that one of our son's eyes was not ''tracking'' correctly, ie. it was slower than the other. This is not visibly apparently (or atleast not yet). He suggested that we go to Dr. Otis Paul. Does anyone have any experience with Dr. Paul? Any recommendations for a top class pediatric ophthalmologist would be greatly appreciated. Thanks! Anon

We took our 18 m.o. daughter to Dr. Susan Day in San Francisco. She is supposed to be one of the best in the Bay Area, and she was terrific. Her assistants did a great job managing our daughter and entertaining her throughout the appointment Amy

You are lucky to catch this so early. We are dealing with it at age 8! Eye tracking problems can impair reading, math, and sports. Otis Paul is a great doctor but go to his Walnut Creek private office to avoid waiting 1-2 hours at the Oakland Children's Hospital clinic he has. Better yet, make an appointment online for the ''Binocular Vision Clinic'' at U.C. Berkeley's School of Optometry (642-2020), and they will evaluate your child and administer ''exercises'' (unless he's too young for them) on a weekly basis, plus giving you some to do at home. anon.

Dr. William Good is excellent. He has offices in Walnut Creek and in SF. Fran

Otis Paul is the pediatric opthamologist who sees my son. He came highly recommended by my son's pediatrician as well as a close family friend that is a pediatric opthamologist in the South Bay (too far away for us to use). Dr. Paul has been treating my son for about a year and will be performing surgery on him in August. Dr. Paul seems very capable, and I have been pleased with his treatment of my son thus far. When surgery was recommended, we got a second opinion from Dr. Susan Day in San Francisco, who also comes highly recommended on this website. She concurred with Dr. Paul's treatment plan. You'll do fine either way Susan

We've seen Dr. Paul twice in the last couple of months (at Children's, he also has a practice in Walnut Creek) for care with our infant daughter. He has been very approachable, willing to answer all of our detailed and probably paranoid questions in great depth. He's not one of those doctors who radiates brillance (which can seem somewhat intimidating and often arrogant), but he did seem extremely competent and experienced. He was also great with our 4 year old who I had to bring with us for the appts. I trust our pediatrician utterly, and she said he is the best. It can take a while to get the first appt., but it's worth the wait and follow-up appts are easier Pleased Parent

Ophthalmologist for 8-year-old who may have astigmatism

October 2003

Looking for a good pediatric opthamologist for our 8 year old daughter. Her school recommends an eye exam based on a suspected astigmatism and less than 20/20 eyesight in both eyes. Thanks for any advice! Leslie UC Berkeley's Optometry school/clinic has great pediatric opthalmologists-- they have opthalmologists AND optometrists at the school, so your child can see both if necessary. Your child will see a doctor, not a student, so she will be in good hands. They did a great job with my toddler (!), and see a lot of other kids. They also take insurance--I was even able to take my daughter there when we had Medi-Cal. One tiny caveat: I didn't know that on the first visit, they would want to dilate my daughter's pupils. We declined to do this, because the drops can sting, and I didn't want her first visit to be a negative experience. Just check whether they will need to do that so you can prepare your daughter for it. Otherwise, all was fine, and she even got a toy at the end. Elizabeth

For pediatric opthamologist, I (like many others on this list) highly, highly recommend Susan Day (415) 202-1500. She's in San Francisco, but it's worth the drive. She's exceptionally skilled at dealing with young children. She managed a full examine, including drops, when my daughter was barely a year old. My daughter never shed a tear or protested a bit. Dr. Day seemed very current on the literature and apparently is highly regarded by other physicians. Anon

I would recommend Dr. Lesli Handmacher. She's in Walnut Square. At my recent checkup, She gave me pamphlets for eye exams for school age and preschoolers, emphasizing that I should bring my boys in, so I know she sees kids. She's so nice and personable, and so is her staff. Her office is in Walnut Square, and they take the VSP plan Mollie

My daughter sees Dr. Otis Paul twice a year and he is fantastic. Great doctor and great with kids. He has an office in Walnut Creek and one at or near Children's Hospital in Oakland. Alison

Don't have an ophthalmologist to recommend, but your school and/or pediatrician may be unnecessarily recommending you see an ophthalmologist. It can be economical to do so if your health plan covers it and you don't have separate vision insurance, but if you have the option of seeing an optometrist, I would recommend Dr. Woodring on Solano Avenue. Relaxed practice, friendly people, great service. Norm

Opthamologist for Amblyopia (Lazy Eye)

September 2003

[See Advice about Lazy Eye for the original question and other recommendations.]

This may not be helpful since it's not exactly what you're asking since Optometrists and Ophthalmologist deal with 'lazy eyes' differently and he isn't in Oakland/Berkeley. But we LOVE Dr. William Good of Walnut Creek. He is a pediatric opthalmologist. My daughter has been under treatment for accomodative esotropia (similar to but not excactly lazy eye) for the last 3 years and we have run the gamut of docters around the Bay Area and have found Dr. Good to be the best in many ways. BergaHoo

For your son's ''lazy eye,'' you should consider an ophthalmologist - not an optometrist - who is experienced in treating amblyopia. This is an opportunity to save your child's sight. The pediatric ophthalmology staff at UCSF is at the forefront of research and care in amblyopia. Try Drs. Doug Fredrick or Dr. Jonathan Horton (415) 353-2289. Merry

As someone who comes from a long line of ''amblyopics'' and I would urge you to seek a consultation with William Goode, M.D. (925-277-1135, San Ramon and a host of other local locales), someone I (and a lot of my ophthalmologist colleagues) consider to be the finest pediatric ophthalmologist in No. California. Lazy eye (Amblyopia) is really considered the purview of an ophthalmologist (M.D.) not an optometrist (O.D.)

Most importantly, the earlier lazy eye is addressed, before 5 years of age, the greater the chance of reclaimed vision. After age 5, the eye, essentially, goes to ''sleep'' because the brain will not recognize visual input. As well, because there are different types of amblyopia, there are different protocols for dealing with the problem--patching as well as other things.

Good luck
Patched successfully at a wee age

Dear Leah. The best, and I mean it pediatric opthamologist is Dr. Creig Hoyt at UCSF. I am a 34 year old and started seeing him when I was 10 for alternating strabismus and wandering eye. He did surgery on me when I was 16 for the wandering eye. I started having some problems at 22 and see him every 6 months. He will be retiring shortly so get in to see him now to assure continuity with his replacement. UCSF is a great pediatric eye department. I do not have a lot of faith in optometrists, other than for prescribing glasses and contacts. Your son has a muscle problem and should see an opthamologist. If you have any questions, please give me a call.
Best of luck, Andy

We tried patching when she was six and despite patching reliably there was no change after six months. We were then referred to Susan Day for surgery, who is the person you really want to talk to, I have found. She is having my daughter wear glasses with -125 and a slight prism for six months to see if it will work, and if it doesn't she will schedule surgery.


I have a 4 1/2 year old daughter who has amblyopia and has been wearing glasses for a year. I am not too pleased with her opthamologist and am looking for recommendations for someone who is informative, has good rapport with children (duh) and open to alternatives for vision improvement (i.e. eye exercises). Does anyone know of anyone in the east bay?

I've put so many responses about this on the system, I feel like a broken record but . . . people need to know. The UC Eye Center has an Infant-Toddler Clinic that treats children with all sorts of eye problems. We have the world's experts here. We also have a Binocular Vision Clinic that deals with vision training and perceptual skills problems. We have ophthalmologists too, if medical care is required. There is free parking. Check us out at or call 642-2020. Barbara

I know you said East Bay, but we did the tour of the east bay eye Dr.s and were not impressed, so we tried Susan Day at CPMC in San Francisco and she is so fabulous, it's worth the trip. My daughter was 4 when she got her glasses for accomodative esotropia (she's now 6) and we've been nothing but happy w/ Dr. Day. She is excellent with children, even doing a quick exam of little sister when she gets jealous, and she's also good at explaining things to grown ups. She's not defensive when asked about other options, just explains the options and why she's made this choice for this child. She is the tops in her field and many children's doctors I know rave about her. Her phone # is (415) 202-1500. We have Health Net/Alta Bates but I think she takes a variety of insurance. Good luck. Anne-Marie

I know you would prefer to be in the east bay, but pediatric ophthalmology is such a subspecialty that you really should think about the trade-offs in getting not-great care that is convenient to your house vs. getting the best care for your child, even if it means having to cross the bridge a few times.

Full disclosure: I work for California Pacific Medical Center. However, you'll notice that I rarely recommend physicians or medical centers, even though I know lots that meet the criteria people often ask about on this list. I don't want to look like I'm pushing my medical center unscrupulously. This posting is based on my experience as a mom of a patient, and from watching this physician on a daily basis as a neighbor to her office.

Dr. Susan Day fixed my daughter's eye problem (different from yours) in one visit. My office was just down the hall from hers, so I have also been in contact with her daily for months, and she is one of those amazing people you can't help but admire. She is not pretentious at all, and she is fabulous with both kids and adults (she sees a very limited number of adults, too). On Halloween she dressed up in costume and was 'in character' all day. Just cracks up the kids and their parents, putting everyone at ease. She is quick with the kids, even babies, and explains things very clearly to the parents. She really does take her time. Dr. Day also believes in educating other physicians, and often has them tag along on appointments - with your permission of course. (She could make a lot more money by cranking patients through, not bothering to spend time with new docs.) She should be profiled in one of those specials about amazing doctors who really make a difference for people. (I have no idea about her thoughts on eye exercises - you would have to ask her.)

BTW, my pediatrician is in the east bay, and recommended Dr. Day as the Best pedi ophthalmologist in the Bay Area, and the doc who worked on her own daughter's eyes. My pediatrician is NOT affiliated with California Pacific in any way. Good luck to you! Ann

You will probably get lots of recommendations for Susan Day (415.202-1500), even though she's in San Francisco. Let me add mine to the chorus. My 12-year old was born with congenital cataracts, had two eye surgeries in her first six months, has worn a contact lens since 3 wks. of age, and now wears glasses as well. We used a different opthalmologist for the surgery but switched to Day when our daughter was around 4, at our pediatrician's suggestion. I find that as children grow older and have more of their own relationship with the opthalmologist, it's even more important that the doctor you choose be able to relate well to kids (and teens, whose concerns are very different). Day is wonderful and very highly respected within the medical community (is on the teaching staff at Pacific Medical Center and was head of the opthalmology teaching program, may still be). She also works with an optometrist in Oakland who sees mostly kids. His name is Tim Sanders (444-0603) and he's in an opthalmology practice that you could consider if you're absolutely dead-set on east bay. Nina

If you have a serious pediatric eye problem, I'd strongly recommend Dr. Creig Hoyt at UCSF. He's an extrordinary diagnostician and clinician, and a genuinely nice human being. It's worth the trip to SF. Merry

I am sure this is an area in which people have some strong opinions, so at the risk of annoying someone, I'll add our experience to the growing list. One of my twin daughters had a serious vision problem that was difficult to detect. Our pediatrician referred us to Dr. Stephen Cohen in Alameda. We have continued with Dr. Cohen who follows Gabrielle closely, seeing her every six months. We also saw Dr. Gordon Smith who is the head of pediatric opthamaology at Oakland's Children's Hospital, and he agreed with Dr. Cohen's treatment plan. In my opinion, both of these physicians are excellent and I feel fortunate that they can care for my daughter. Dr. Cohen has 4 young children of his own and is great with kids. Sharon

Daniel Brinton for baby's ROP surgery

May 2003

did anybody had any sort of experience with dr. daniel brinton - pediatric ophtomologist. he is supposed to be a retina specialist, I am send to him for check up on my baby who had ROP surgery. thanks! katja

I was referred to Dr. Brinton from my optometrist (who is wonderful with kids and sees my son). She thinks Brinton's the best retina guy around and always refers people to him. He was thorough, responsive to discomfort, detail-oriented, non-alarmist, low-key. He's in his mid-late forties and has a mess of his own kids (5, maybe?). I was struck by his kindness and patience toward a senior who was leaving the room I was entering; she was a talkative person who was quite agitated about something unrelated and he managed to conclude their visit in a sympathetic, unhurried manner. The office staff was terrific, squeezing me in fast because they felt urgency about the condition I was referred for, even though I was prepared to let it go for months. There was a relatively long office wait that day, so bring toys. goldmanl

My partner has been seeing Dr. Brinton for several years for diabetic retinopathy. We both really like Brinton and his office staff. Dr. Brinton is very thorough, pleasant and happy to answer questions. The downside of him being willing to take time with you is that you should expect to wait a least an hour past your scheduled time (this seems to be the standard for retinologists). We are considering switching to Dr. Jumper's office, because he seems more aggressive about treatment and his office is involved in clinical trials of which we like to keep apprised. We are a bit torn, since we do like Dr. Brinton. anonymous

I have no idea how Dr. Brinton is as a pediatric doctor, but I was referred to him some years ago to check out a possible retinal tear. It was not a comfortable process as he had to manipulate my eyeball with a sort of small wooden spatula and move it about to get the best view, but I thought he was as gentle as he could be, given the task. The office staff was very friendly and, although he wasn't on time, that was because he is a major specialist and much in demand and had been called out on an emergency. He found nothing that needed fixing but advised me on the warning signs, gave me his card, and told to call anytime, day or night, if I experienced any of the symptoms he described. I think I'd have to call him a darned good doctor. Good luck. Anonymous

Dan Brinton is the only retinologist in the East Bay who does the laser ''surgery'' for ROP. He is very good and very! courtly and nice. He is also not, as was posted, a pediatric ophthalmolgist. The only alternative for retinologists doing the laser component of ROP would be a retina specialist over at UCSF. Either way, Dr. Brinton is a good man and a very competent, concientious doctor.

Opthalmologist for our son - Day or Stern?

May 2000

We are trying to decide which opthalmologist to use for our son. We would like to know if anyone can recommend either Dr. Susan Day in SF or Dr. Earl Stern in Oakland. Thanks! Margaret

We have had a very positive experience so far with Dr. Susan Day in SF; my four-year-old just got her first pair of glasses. My daughter's pediatrician in Berkeley recommended Dr. Day and said she was well worth going into the city for. Elisa

I can highly recommend Dr. Susan Day who repaired my baby's Strabismus problem when she was about a year old. She certainly did a fine job cosmetically, however was unable to get the eye to work in tandem with the other eye. This was not her fault, it is very difficult to train the eye to do this. I feel Dr. Day is extremely knowledgeable, keeps up with current research, and she is easily able to establish good relationships with children. Toby

Dr. Susan Day in SF - yes! She is terrific. We went only once and were told there was no problem, so I cannot tell a long tale. But her manner and way with kids is fabulous. I must say, she spoke almost exclusively to my 6 year old, leaving me to listen and absorb the info, but it left my daughter feeling very in-charge and special to have a grown-up defer to her so much. And she remembered every word Dr. Day said to her. Peggy

We visited both Dr Stern and Dr Day when deciding on an eye dr for our then 4 year old daughter. We chose Dr. Day (despite the drive to SF and bad parking around the office) because she really took the time to connect to our daughter and make her comfortable before even talking about her eyes. Then she asked, Do you know why you're here? listened, then and gave a very positive, but not Pollyanna description of why our little one needed an eye doctor, and eventually why she needed glasses. Dr. Day really enlisted our daughter's input and cooperation despite her young age and I really appreciated that. That was almost two years ago and my daughter continues to enjoy her visits to Dr. Day and I am very happy with the treatment/progress. tampine

When one of my twin daughters was finishing 1st grade we thought she might have a vision problem. She was a very early reader and had been using drawing tools since 15 months and we had no reason to think she was experiencing trouble seeing. When she repeatedly failed the simple eye exam, we finally realized that she had been compensating by using her peripheral vision!

We immediately took her to Dr. Stephen Cohen in Alameda, who is also a pediatrician and practices pediatric opthomology. He examined Gabrielle and said she had a couple of rather serious problems. In the course of our conversation I happened to mention that Gordon Smith is Uncle to my three children and a dear friend. Dr. Cohen sent us to Dr. Smith for a second opinion. They both agreed on the same precise course of treatment for her and she is progressing nicely.

Unknown to us, Gordon is a physician of the very highest caliber! We only knew him to be a good and kind neighbor who, with his wife, had become good friends. He is highly regarded in all pediatric communities. As one pediatrician told me, when there is a situation that seems nearly impossible, we want Dr. Smith for the consult. He has helped restore vision to so many children. If I told you about some of his many accomplishments you quite likely would not believe me! He is very accessible and gentle with children and parents alike. Your child and her/his vision are in the very best hands possible! Good Luck. Sharon

Gordon Smith has been our son's opthamologist since he (our son) had cataract surgery 3 years ago. Our son was 2-1/2 at the time of the surgery; Dr. Smith was/has been great; nice repoire with our boy; we were prepared to go with a specialist in children's cataracts (Dr. Craig Boyd) out of pocket but the specialist told us that Dr. Smith was good and to stay with him. The only negative is that sometimes he's overbooked and you can end up waiting for a LONG time in the waiting room...a minor thing compared to the wonderful work he has done with our son. Feel free to contact me directly if you have any more questions. Carol

More recommendations: Pediatric Opthamologists

Oct 2004

I just took my 4 year old recently adopted daughter to a wonderful pediatric ophthalmologist and wanted to pass along a recommendation. Unfortunately my medical plan (United Healthcare) only covers two pediatric eye specialists in the entire bay area. Dr. Kim Cooper is located in Burlingame - a bit of a drive from the East Bay - but she was so, so worth it. She has an amazingly enthusiastic, high energy level which translates wonderfully to younger children. Though her waiting room was full, she made us feel comfortable and at ease and our appointment was not rushed. She has an incredibly warm and personal manner. Her office is well equipped with toys, etc., and her staff is incredibly gracious. I have seldom made a ''Cold call'' to a Doctor that so impressed me. My daughter was very apprehensive before the visit but had a wonderful time playing ''Games'' that checked her vision. We were there for over an hour and a half and my daughter remained playful and happy the entire time. Dr. Cooper's office is located at 1720 El Camino Real, Suite 235, and her office no. is 650-259-0300. Evelyn