YOUNGTERS with eye problems will have access to the very best treatment thanks to the launch of the region’s first leading eye centre for children.

The paediatric ophthalmology clinic, based at Southampton General Hospital’s eye unit, has been developed by clinicians and researchers to offer a one-stop shop treatment centre dedicated to children suffering with any eye conditions.

The new leading-edge centre will have dedicated children’s cataract and eye movement clinics, plus research into a variety of genetic eye disorders affecting children and babies.

One of the conditions being targeted by research is “wobbly eye” which causes uncontrollable eye movement from birth and can be associated with a variety of seemingly unrelated medical problems.

Jay Self, one of the centre’s four consultant paediatric ophthalmologists, is leading the research into eye movement disorders, particularly congenital nystagmus.

In partnership with three patient-run charities – IN-vision, Nystagmus Network and the Gift of Sight Appeal – he has already collated one of the largest groups of sufferers in the world.

He said: “The development of this service, which includes within it specialist cataract and eye movement clinics, is fantastic news for families in the south of England as we really do cater for all aspects of children’s eye health.

“We don’t want to sit still and be stuck performing the basics. We want to be at the forefront of the latest developments and that is why we are leading the way in nystagmus research, as well as the development of new techniques for children’s cataract surgery and other treatments.”