Although primarily found in older adults, cataracts can affect children and even newborns. This disorder is a clouding of the eye lens which has the potential to affect vision negatively. If the cataract is large enough it can cause amblyopia, commonly known as a lazy eye. Fortunately, cataracts in children are rare with only 3 out of 10,000 cases reported.
Causes of Pediatric Cataracts
Many times a cataract is found in children because of abnormal lens development during pregnancy. Genetic problems and infections can also cause a pediatric cataract, but sometimes they just occur suddenly.
Sometimes a cataract is small enough or off the center of the lens where it doesn’t interfere with a child’s vision. Other times the cataract stops light from reaching the retina in the eye preventing the transmission of light to the brain. In this case a child’s vision is impaired because the brain can’t receive a clear image. If you notice your child has a cataract, seek medical attention immediately to prevent permanent vision loss. In children, cataracts form before normal eyesight development, so it is crucial for your child to receive the proper treatment.
Surgery for pediatric cataracts is generally a very safe procedure. During the surgery, a small incision is made in the front lens capsule and the cloudy part of the child’s lens is carefully suctioned out. Depending on the child’s age and other factors, and artificial lens called an intraocular lens can be placed in the empty capsule.
Restoring Eye Sight
The purpose of a lens is to focus on light so the eye receives a clear image. When the lens is removed during surgery, it cannot focus on light. The most successful options are inserting a permanent intraocular lens in the eye, but if the child is too young or there are other contraindications, a specialized contact lens can be used. Glasses can sometimes be used in select cases.
Get In Touch With Pediatric Eye Care Today
Pediatric Eye Care of Maryland takes your child’s eye health very seriously. With a full staff of highly skilled Ophthalmologists, Optometrists, and Orthoptists we’ve got ocular health covered. If you feel any concern about your child’s vision, have questions concerning eye health, or need information on the services we offer contact us today. With 4 convenient locations in Maryland, we are your number one choice for eye treatment!