Cataracts in infants are a rare condition but it is completely possible. It is known as congenital cataract and it means that the eye’s natural lens is cloudy instead of clear. Vision could be hampered to the extent that cataract surgery may be required under the supervision of specialist doctors for removal of your child’s natural lens. Not all congenital cataracts require surgical removal, but many do. Cataracts that cloud only the peripheral portion of the lens may not need removal, because central vision remains unhampered. Very small cataracts, too, may be considered too insignificant to require surgery. Some experts say the optimal time to intervene and remove a visually significant congenital cataract from an infant’s eye is between the age of 6 weeks and 3 months.
If your baby has a congenital cataract, discuss any concerns you have about the timing of cataract surgery with your eye surgeon. Once the cataract is removed, it is absolutely imperative to get implanted lens or intraocular lens, contact lens or eyeglasses. Without proper vision correction following cataract surgery, the eye will have poor vision, and normal infant vision development will be hindered. Normally, both adults and children receive IOLs during cataract surgery. But according to recent clinical trials and studies, for most babies, using contact lenses for a few years and having lens implants later could work better. However, problems with IOLs include potential post-operative complications that could require more surgery, and the difficulty for a surgeon to choose the best focusing power of an IOL for a baby, since the eyes are still growing at that age. Congenital cataracts occur in newborn babies for many reasons that can include inherited tendencies, infection, metabolic problems, diabetes, trauma, inflammation or drug reactions.
At Centre for Sight, we provide cataract treatment, SMILE (Small incision lenticule extraction) and a host of other services in our eye hospitals for LASIK and other procedures in Hyderabad, Delhi, Indore, Jaipur and other cities across the nation. At CFS, we care for eye care.