15 Feb Can kids get cataract?
Cataracts in children are rare and about 15 in 10,000 children are affected per year as per a study in 2017. It can occur due to many factors including genetic disorders, trauma, syndromes, metabolic disorders like diabetes, etc. Childhood cataracts can be both congenital or acquired and can happen in one or both eyes. Also, when both eyes have a cataract, one can be worse than the other. Cataracts may appear in different areas of the lens, i.e. can be anterior or posterior, and can range in size from tiny dots to dense clouds. Cataract amongst children remains the most undetected disorder of the eye even today.
What constitutes the treatment plan of Cataract in Children?
Since the child is in the developing phase of his/her life and both brain and vision development require clear sight. 80% of the learning is achieved via the visual data the child receives. Thus, early and swift intervention is required while dealing with childhood cataracts.
Early detection is vital in order to avoid setting in of the “lazy eye” or Amblyopia syndrome, which leads to permanent and complete loss of vision.
Without timely treatment, there can be missed communications between the brain and the eye aka “lazy eye”. And hence, childhood cataract treatment requires a long-term strategy – including glasses and a post-intervention exercise regimen.
Paediatric or childhood cataract surgery involves the latest technology of phacoemulsification with IOL implantation and often anterior vitrectomy to prevent any future vision problems. Post-surgery the child often requires glasses (bifocals/progressives) for near vision and studying in the future.
We welcome all queries on any topics regarding pediatric cataract surgery, which would be answered directly by our pediatric ophthalmologist Dr. Aditya Sethi (click to read bio here)