What is a Cataract?
Whenever the clear lens of the eye becomes cloudy, it is known as a Cataract. Usually it is age related and commonly seen in elderly individuals. But sometimes, the same can happen in a new born infant due to many causes. Some cataracts do not interfere with the vision if small, however the large can disturb the vision development.
Is it Common?
The incidence is variable in the world. In the West, approximately 3 out of 10,000 children have a Cataract, while in Asia and Middle East the incidence is slightly more.
Can it affect vision?
A child needs to have a clear visual pathway starting from the Cornea to the retina. The lens is in the middle of the eye. Any cloudiness of the lens can impair the light entering into the eye, affecting the normal development of vision. If not treated, the vision has a lifelong effect and can greatly have an impact on the quality of life.
Congenital cataract in a 4 week old
Is this a major surgery?
This is a routine surgery which is done under general anesthesia. It is approximately an hour-long procedure and the child goes home after observation the same day.
Surgical removal of the cataract- immediate post op picture
What to expect after surgery?
Postoperative eye drops are instilled frequently for a few weeks.
Will my child need glasses?
Surgical removal of cataract solves half of the pro
blem, but the rest of the treatment includes the constant use of glasses and patching or amblyopia therapy.