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Vision Center

The vision experts at Akron Children’s Hospital specialize in the comprehensive evaluation, coordinated care and cutting-edge treatment of eye disease and visual system disorders in infants, children, teens and adults who have remaining vision disorders due to childhood eye diseases.  

Led by renowned pediatric ophthalmologist Richard Hertle, our team of ophthalmologists, optometrists, nurses, ophthalmic techs, scientists and others is committed to improving the quality of life for you and your child. 

The Vision Center, an Akron Children's Hospital Center of Excellence, offers the latest in diagnostics and care for children with vision problems, no matter how simple or complex. The advanced treatment for rare eye diseases, such as congenital nystagmus, brings patients from all over the world to Akron Children’s for care. Our team also specializes in caring for children with disabilities. 

We use the latest technology to perform imaging and physiological evaluation of visual systems, and incorporate specialized tests and procedures, such as ERGs and EMRs, to aid in diagnosis and treatment. 

We also offer the following specialty programs to allow patients to conveniently attend multiple appointments in one day, in one location.  

  • Uveitis Clinic. Uveitis is swelling and irritation of the uvea, the middle layer of the eye, which provides most of the blood supply to the retina. It can be caused by autoimmune diseases such as juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, infection or exposure to toxins. 

  • Nystagmus Clinic. Nystagmus refers to rapid, involuntary movement of the eyes (dancing eyes). It affects one in about 3,000 people, and many of these individuals are partially sighted. Dr. Richard Hertle is one of the only physicians in the world who performs the horizontal tenotomy to improve congenital nystagmus. 

  • Adult Strabismus Clinic. Strabismus, often referred to as crossed eyes, refers to any misalignment of the eyes. The eyes may turn in, out, up or down. If the same eye is chronically misaligned, amblyopia (lazy eye) may also develop in that eye. 

Department Main Image

Why Akron Children's

Specializing In:
Uveitis, Nystagmus & Adult Strabismus

The only children's hospital to offer a clinic dedicated solely to pediatric scleral lenses. Learn more


We’ve treated patients from 8 countries and 34 states.

Richard Hertle, MD, FAAO, FACS, FAAP

Dr. Richard Hertle is an investigator in the areas of nystagmus and eye movement disorder.  His current titles include, Professor of Ophthalmology, Northeast Ohio Medical College, SUMMA Medical Center Department of Ophthalmology, Director, The Children’s Vision Center and Chief of Ophthalmology, Akron Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Akron, Ohio, USA.

Dr. Hertle received his Bachelor’s Degree from The Ohio State University and his Medical Degree from Northeast Ohio Universities College of Medicine.  Following medical school, Dr. Hertle completed fellowships and residencies in Ocular Motility, Emergency Medicine, Ophthalmology, and Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus at a variety of medical centers around the country.  Dr. Hertle came to Akron in 2010 to grow the Pediatric Ophthalmology service after six years as Chief of Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh and Professor of Ophthalmology and Bioengineering at The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. 

He has been principal investigator on a number of NIH-funded research projects, including ongoing studies on the treatment of strabismus, nystagmus and amblyopia. An avid researcher and publisher, Dr. Hertle has over 200 referred publications and almost as many abstracts, editorials, reviews and invited lectures.  He currently serves as a reviewer for multiple journals and has been a recipient of over a million dollars of research funding.

Meet Richard Hertle, MD, FAAO, FACS, FAAP

Ian Boydstun, DO

Pediatric Ophthalmologist

Meet Ian Boydstun, DO

Tanvi Chauhan, OD

Optometrist

Meet Tanvi Chauhan, OD

Sarah Guillette, OD

Dr. Guillette is a pediatric ophthalmologist at Akron Children’s Hospital, where she’s been practicing since 2021. She earned her medical degree from Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences School of Optometry in Worcester, Mass. and completed her pediatric optometry residency at Akron Children’s. Dr. Guillette is a member of the American Academy of Optometry, the American Optometric Association and the Ohio Optometric Association.

Meet Sarah Guillette, OD

Nancy Hanna, MD

Dr. Hanna is a pediatric ophthalmologist at Akron Children’s Hospital Vision Center, where she’s been practicing since 2012. A graduate of The Ohio State University School of Medicine, she completed her ophthalmology residency at Summa Health Systems and a pediatric ophthalmology fellowship at Akron Children’s Hospital. Dr. Hanna offers comprehensive evaluation and treatment of eye disease and visual system disorders in infants, children, teens and adults who have remaining vision disorders due to childhood eye diseases. She is board certified by the American Academy of Ophthalmology. She’s also the co-investigator of several current research studies and is a member of the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Association of Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus.

Meet Nancy Hanna, MD

William Lawhon, MD

Dr. Lawhon has been practicing since 2012. He began the same year at Akron Children’s Hospital as a pediatric ophthalmologist where he specializes in caring for patients with strabismus, retinopathy of prematurity, eyelid disorders, cataract, uveitis, general pediatric ophthalmology and vision care. He received his medical degree from The Ohio State University, where he also completed his residency in ophthalmology. He also completed a pediatric ophthalmology fellowship at the UTSW Dallas Children’s Hospital. He is certified by the American Academy of Ophthalmology and is an assistant clinical professor at Northeast Ohio Medical University.

Meet William Lawhon, MD

Casandra Solis, OD

Dr. Solis has been practicing since 2013. She joined Akron Children’s Hospital as an optometrist where she provides eye exams and helps patients with vision needs - from ocular disease to contact lenses. After graduating from Pacific University College of Optometry, she completed her residency in pediatric optometry at Children’s Mercy in Kansas City, MO. She is also a fellow of the American Academy of Optometry.

Meet Casandra Solis, OD

Palak Wall, MD

Dr Wall is a pediatric ophthalmologist who has been practicing since 2013. She joined the staff at the Akron Children's Hospital Vision Center in 2017. A graduate of The Ohio State University College of Medicine, she completed a residency in ophthalmology at the Ohio State University Medical Center, and a fellowship in pediatric ophthalmology at the Cleveland Clinic Cole Eye Institute. Her special interests are pediatric ophthalmology, adult strabismus and retinopathy of prematurity. She is board certified by the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

Meet Palak Wall, MD

Dr. Richard Hertle is one of the only physicians in the world who performs the horizontal tenotomy to improve congenital nystagmus.

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Locations

Contact Vision Center

330-543-5290

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Vision
Akron Children's Hospital Pediatric Ophthalmology & Optometry, Akron
Considine Professional Building
215 West Bowery Street
Level 2
Akron, Ohio 44308
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Vision, Boardman
Akron Children's Hospital Pediatric Ophthalmology & Optometry, Boardman
Building C
6505 Market Street
Suite 1100
Boardman, Ohio 44512
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Vision, Boston Heights
Akron Children's Hospital Vision, Boston Heights
Akron Children's Health Center
328 East Hines Hill Road
Boston Heights, Ohio 44236
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Vision, Medina
Akron Children's Hospital Pediatric Ophthalmology & Optometry, Medina
Akron Children's Health Center
3443 Medina Road
Door 1 (Suite 108)
Medina, Ohio 44256
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Vision, North Canton
Akron Children's Hospital Pediatric Ophthalmology & Optometry, Canton
Akron Children's Health Center
6076 Whipple Avenue
North Canton, Ohio 44720
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Our Doctors/Providers

Department Heads:
Richard Hertle
Richard Hertle, MD, FAAO, FACS, FAAP

Director, Pediatric Ophthalmology; Dr. Boomer and Jill Burnstine Chair in Pediatric Ophthalmology; Pediatric Ophthalmologist

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Physicians/Providers:

Ian Boydstun, DO

Pediatric Ophthalmologist

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Tanvi Chauhan, OD

Optometrist

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Sarah Guillette, OD

Optometrist

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Nancy Hanna, MD

Pediatric Ophthalmologist

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William Lawhon, MD

Pediatric Ophthalmologist

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Casandra Solis, OD

Pediatric Optometrist

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Palak Wall, MD

Pediatric Ophthalmologist

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Open Clinical Studies

A study testing the BrainPort® artificial vision system

We are studying whether a medical device called the BrainPort® can help blind children. The device includes a video camera mounted on top of a pair of glasses. The camera sends signals to a special tongue pad held in the mouth. Using this device, the brain “learns” to detect visual information such as shapes and movement. Walking a 40-foot obstacle course your child will learn to locate various objects. Two groups of children will participate: children who are blind and those with normal vision. Twenty children will be in the study which may take up to 6 two-hour visits. The study takes about a month to complete.

For full study description please visit: https://www.clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT02643238?term=BrainPort&rank=2

More about this study...


Currently recruiting

https://www.akronchildrens.org/files/COVID-Inforgraphic.html

What Should Families Expect When They Come for an Appointment?

At Akron Children’s, your child’s health and safety is our priority. Please continue to bring your child for wellness visits, vaccinations or sick care appointments that keep children healthy. We want to assure you that we have taken additional precautions to ensure a safe environment for your child and family. The following are additional safety efforts, in addition to our normal cleaning protocols, that we are taking to help you be comfortable bringing your child to an appointment.

Masking and Other Safety Protocols

Akron Children’s has a number of safety protocols in place for our patients and visitors in order to provide a safe hospital environment.

About Insurance

Insurance coverage for vision is dependent upon diagnosis and can involve your medical insurance and/or vision care insurance. A diagnosis can only be determined by the provider at the completion of the exam.  In addition, coverage varies by company. Please review your insurance plan benefits for vision care in advance of your appointment.  In addition, there is a specific test that is done at each yearly exam and possibly each visit depending on the patient's diagnosis (CPT 92015 Refraction). This is often not paid by insurance. For questions about your individual plan please contact your insurance carrier.

Education

Akron Children’s Hospital’s Vision Center prides itself on a commitment to medical education. We offer two fellowship programs, one in optometry and one in ophthalmology, to provide training for the next generation of health care providers. 

From a patient family perspective, this means that there will likely be a student present at your appointment. We thank you for your understanding as we take the time to allow these students the opportunity to learn and grow in their medical and health care pursuits.  

More information on our optometry fellowship can be found here, and more information on our ophthalmology fellowship can be found here


Some of the Conditions We Treat...

Amblyopia, aphakia, astigmatism, blindness, cataracts, congenital glaucoma, congenital nystagmus, crossed eyes, farsightedness, hyperopia, infantile cataracts, juvenile glaucoma, lazy eye, myopia, nearsightedness, pediatric cataracts, refractive errors, retinal disorders, retinoblastoma, retinopathy of prematurity, strabismus, uveitis, vision defects



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