Pediatric Ophthalmology

High Quality Pediatric Vision Care

Meet the Cape Fear region’s best—and only—pediatric eye doctor.

Identifying and treating eye and vision problems is often the best way to preserve or restore a child’s vision. At Wilmington Eye, our pediatric ophthalmologist works with each individual child—from infants to teens—to diagnose and treat eye conditions and diseases and ensure overall visual health. If you feel that your child may have an eye condition or disease, it’s important to schedule an exam immediately so that we can detect vision problems early and begin working towards a solution for your child.


Melissa Shipley performing a child eye exam with a light-up toy


Common Vision Problems Among Children

If you think your child may have an eye problem, it’s imperative that a full vision eye exam take place with a pediatric ophthalmologist. Early detection and treatment in children can help prevent lifelong vision loss. As a parent, it’s important to familiarize yourself with common vision problems that occur among children so that you can work with your child’s pediatrician to identify a potential vision problem and seek the right care and treatment.

When to See a Pediatric Ophthalmologist

Unfortunately, most children who have a vision problem do not complain or are unable to identify symptoms. It’s common, especially for toddlers, to assume that their vision is normal and no different from their peers. Many childhood eye conditions, when identified early, can be treated through various non-surgical methods like prescription glasses, eye drops, or patching. For this reason, it is important for parents to remain vigilant, assess whether a visual problem may be present, and schedule an appointment with a pediatric ophthalmologist when there is concern.


Some signs that your child has a vision problem include:

  • Crossing in or out of the eyes
  • Unequal pupils
  • Eyes turning in, out or in different directions
  • Tilting of the head
  • Squinting
  • Shaking of the eyes

Concerned about your child’s vision?

Our experienced pediatric ophthalmologist, Dr. Melissa Shipley, MD, FAAP, can assist with diagnosing and developing a treatment plan for any eye disease.

Schedule An Exam Today

Pediatric Ophthalmology FAQs

Hear from our Pediatric Ophthalmology patients

  • "My daughter is 7 and has been going to this practice for 4 years. She looks forward to her visits with Dr. Shipley. Thanks for making it fun. Everyone on staff is kind and efficient. Most importantly, we feel our daughter is receiving quality eye care and our questions about glasses, strabismus, and patching have been answered."
    Susan W.
  • "Very professional and patient when it comes to dealing with younger children. Explains the results well to parents understanding. You can tell they care about their job and are truly passionate."
    Denise L.
  • "Love her , she’s great with my son !! Wasn’t so sure about doing a procedure for a removal of a sty for my son , but Dr. Shipley explained everything to me and I was impressed with the results ! Highly recommend they have a great team at Wilmington eye !!"
    Laticia T.
  • "Dr. Shipley is a great doctor! Very caring and explains things very well. Thank you for being an amazing eye dr for my toodler!"
    Ashley S.
  • "They are very friendly! Just went today and my 4 year old son was soo excited! They made it fun for him to the point where he was really excited to be getting his glasses!"
    Liliana L.
  • "Such an amazing dr. She is patient and kind. I really appreciate the time she takes with my son."
    Jacqueline S.
  • "My daughter has always received great care and attention to detail by Dr. Shipley. She’s very thorough and truly listens to my concerns. I highly recommend."
    Allison C.
  • "First time visit for my sweet 6 month old baby girl & she was super friendly & patient with her. She was amazing & it put me at ease as a first time mom."
    Kenisha R.
  • "She is amazing my son is autistic and get mad when any one touches his face and she is so good with him and works with him she is a great doctor"
    Anna J.
  • "She was great with my daughter and knew exactly what to do to get her to cooperate during The Visit."
    Lisa & Alyssa
  • "The staff is friendly and nurses are great. Highly recommend Dr. Shipley. She has been great with my little one from the beginning! Dr. Shipley answer all of my concerns before and after surgery."
    America S.
  • "Very nice. Perfect with babies!"
    Alexa C.
  • "My grandson is only 2 and I appreciated the support and attention given to us. Dr Shipley seemed very knowledgeable about the issue. Thanks everyone"
    Maureen R.
  • "Dr. Shipley and her staff were wonderful. My daughter was a bit worried about her appointment. They put her anxiety at ease and it put me at ease knowing they understood and cared enough to make the appointment as easy and calming as possible. I definitely recommend Dr. Shipley and her staff."
    Mayra H.
  • "They are always very kind and connected with my 5 year old daughter! She enjoys her appointments there."
    Taren C.
  • "Dr. Shipley did a great job with my daughter. She answered our questions and let us know what to expect during her next visit."
    Miranda P.
  • "Great appointment with my 5 year old and 4 year old. She was able to quickly assess them to make this a pretty simple process"
    Jennifer C.
  • "We have been seeing Dr. Shipley for close to 3 years with our son. She is very thorough and thoughtful."
    Karly Marie R.
  • "Staff was amazing with my 20 month old who cannot stay still like ever! Very compassionate and understanding even when she was having a meltdown!"
    Miranda D.
  • "Amazing doctor and she has extra patience with my kids BC they have rare conditions and shes very understanding and every through and my kids recognized her from the morning news on TV with her clinic fantastic segment"
    Maria C.
  • "Friendly and professional care from start to finish."
    Mindy M.
  • "Dr. Shipley has consistently provided excellent care to my son. She has been professional and efficient at each encounter over the past three years. I highly recommend her expertise and service for pediatric ophthalmology."
    Marla L.
  • "Best pediatric eye Dr ever. The staff is wonderful so is Dr Shipley. We feel fortunate to have Dr Shipley in Wilmington."
    A. C.
  • "Dr. Shipley and her staff are very courteous and kind. Also, we never have to wait very long once we arrive. We have been very pleased with the results from the surgery Dr. Shipley performed on our child. It has been a very positive experience. I would highly recommend them."
    Melissa C.
  • "Dr Shipley and the entire staff is always so patient with my child who has developmental disabilities and autism. Everyone is kind and understanding."
    Annetta S.
  • "Dr. Shipley was great with my 4 year old and very friendly!!"
    Asheton C.
  • "Dr. Shipley was awesome and very patient with my toddler. Very impressed with the facility and how clean it was."
    Laura E.
  • "We used to drive to Duke for the eye specialist and am so thankful that we Dr. Shipley has moved to the area. Dr. Shipley and her staff are so patient with my son and take the time to explain things to him and to answer any and all of our questions while also being so efficient!"
    Jill R.
  • "Melissa Shipley is always great when it comes to my daughter! My daughter is not a fan of the eye doctor, but Melissa makes the experience great for her! She leaves there asking when she’s going back!"
    Alisha J.
  • "Dr. Shipley is so great with my daughter. We started seeing her when my girl was less than a year, and she has always been so kind and patient! For sure one of the best pediatric eye dr around!! Can’t imagine how different eye checks would be without her and her amazing team!"
    Hannah B.
  • "Melissa Shipley is an angel. She did amazing work on my granddaughters' eyes. She always makes sure that there is staff available if we need anything. We are very satisfied with her professionalism and her high standards in which she holds herself."
    Traci H.
  • Want to hear more stories from our patients?

    View All Stories