Congenital Cataracts: Treatment Options
There is a common misconception that cataracts are only found in seniors, but it can impact people of all ages. If your newborn has been diagnosed with cataracts, or congenital cataracts, getting treatment as soon as possible is important to avoid future visual problems. Before your newborn undergoes treatment, it is important for you to know what options are available.
Is Surgery Necessary?
In some instances, your child's doctor might not recommend surgery to remove the cataracts. Mild forms of cataracts sometimes do not progress or worsen and have very little impact on a child's vision. Your child's doctor will carefully monitor your child's condition to determine if medical intervention is necessary later.
You play a crucial part in recognizing signs that the condition is worsening. If you notice your child fails to show any form of visual awareness of his or her surroundings, ask your doctor to perform another assessment.
What Happens During Surgery?
In the event that your child does need cataract surgery, the cataract is removed from your child's eye. In some instances, an artificial lens is placed to help improve your child's vision. Whether or not the lens is used is decided on a case-by-case basis. Some doctors prefer to rely on other means of correcting the child's vision after surgery.
There are some possible complications of the surgery, such as a return of cloudy vision in one or both eyes. However, most of the complications that your child could experience are treatable through additional surgery or medications.
What Happens After Surgery?
After the surgery, your child might have to wear contacts or eyeglasses if an artificial lens was not implanted in the eye. If your baby is prescribed eyeglasses and you find it difficult to get him or her to keep them on, your eye doctor might recommend switching to contacts.
If only one eye was operated on, there is a possibility that your child might rely more on the stronger eye to see. The action is reflexive and your child is not aware of it. However, continued reliance or dependence on just the stronger eye can cause other problems. To avoid this problem, your child's eye doctor might recommend that your child wear an eye patch over the stronger eye for several hours daily. This forces the weaker eye to work and improve.
There are many reasonable concerns when it comes to treating congenital cataracts. Your child's doctor can guide you through the many options available to you and your child.
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