What Is A Pediatric Ophthalmologist?


A pediatric ophthalmologist is an ophthalmologist who has undergone additional training in order to understand and treat the eyes and developing visual system of infants and children. In addition, because the surgical techniques involved in treating strabismus (muscle problems of the eyes) are best learned in a pediatric ophthalmology fellowship, these physicians often treat adult strabismus as well.

Gustavo Alejandro Gonzalez

MD, PhD


Dr. Gonzalez graduated cum laude from the University of California, Irvine and University of California, and completed his medical training at U.C. San Diego where he earned his MD and PhD degree in neurobiology.
He continued his specialty training at the University of San Francisco, where he completed a Fellowship in Pediatric Opthalmology and obtained numerous awards and grants. Dr. Gonzalez began his pediatric opthalmology practice in 1997. Today, AB See Eye Care continues to serve Monterey, San Benito, and Santa Cruz counties as the only pediatric opthalmology practice.
Dr. Gonzalez offers comprehensive vision services for pediatric patients with strabismus. Some conditions, such as amblyopia, are diagnosed and treated exclusively by a pediatric ophthalmologist. As a Child-friendly office and staff, up-to-date diagnostic equipment and surgical techniques, and state-of-the art facilities all help us in our mission to provide excellent care for you or your child.
Pediatric and General Ophthalmology, Great Selection for frames in our optical shop.

Which children should be seen by an ophthalmologist?

Healthy children without any known risk factors for eye disease should undergo age-appropriate screening examinations with their pediatricians and schools, and can be referred to an ophthalmologist as needed.

Children with parents or siblings with certain eye conditions, such as strabismus or amblyopia, may be at increased risk for these problems, even if they do not appear to have any difficulty with their eyes or vision. These children would benefit from an assessment with a pediatric ophthalmologist.

Children with certain medical conditions, such as diabetes, blood problems, metabolic problems, and genetic diseases like neurofibromatosis, need to be examined regularly for eye problems.

Some serious eye problems have warning signs early in life. Poor vision, eye pain, changes in the shape or size of an eye, crossed or wandering eyes, or an abnormal appearance to the pupil of one or both eyes can all be signs of serious eye conditions and should be evaluated by a physician. What takes place during a pediatric eye examination?

It is possible to learn much about a child's eye from an examination, even when the child is too young to read a wall chart. All eye examinations include an assessment of visual function, and an inspection of the eyes with a hand-held light or microscope. During an initial visit and even if your child has been seen by another eye doctor previously, almost every child will have his or her pupils dilated. As with an adult eye examination, dilating drops require 30 minutes to take effect, and will blur your child's vision to a mild degree for several hours. The pupils will be visibly dilated, sometimes for the rest of the day.

What our patients say

  • I took my 9-month-old daughter to see Dr. Gonzales in January, after being referred by her pediatrician. My husband and I had been noticing her right eye wasn't always tracking properly with the left. I went into the appointment expecting to hear our daughter had strabismus and needed patch therapy. As it turned out, the diagnosis was much more complicated than that. Upon examining our daughter, Dr. Gonzales believed she had an underlying condition causing the problem with her eye, a birth defect of the skull called Craniosynostosis. He referred us to Lucile Packard for a second opinion, and his suspicion was confirmed. Our baby needed major surgery on her skull to allow enough space for her growing brain. We got the diagnosis just in time to schedule surgery while she was still in the ideal age range for the best possible outcome. We had never even heard of Craniosynostosis before our appointment with Dr. Gonzales. It was not caught by her pediatrician and I have no idea how long it would have been before it was discovered had we not taken her to that appointment. My husband and I are so incredibly thankful that Dr. Gonzales recognized the symptoms and put us on the right path to getting medical care for our baby. We would not hesitate to recommend him to anyone looking for a knowledgable and experienced opthomologist for their child.
    Rachel S.
  • I took my three year old daughter here and she normally is afraid of doctors (what kid isn't right?) yet she thought she was playing a game the whole time. Dr. Gonzales got her to focus immediately and made her laugh. I can honestly say she and I are both happy with this eye doctor.
    Alysia M.

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