While cataracts may seem like they are a disease of aging eyes, one in 250 children are born with a congenital cataract. The treatment for children born with cataracts differs from the approach taken with older patients. Because older patients already have developed their eyesight completely, the goal is to remove the cataract to preserve existing sight. In children, there is an equal focus on managing sight development.
Cataract Surgery Is Not the First Answer
While your child may eventually require cataract surgery with intraocular lens transplant, the initial treatment may simply be to monitor the cataract. In children who are born with cataracts, the treatment is as much about preventing amblyopia (lazy eye). Because a child’s brain is developing sight, if one eye is functioning much more efficiently than the other, the brain might stop using it. To prevent this from occurring, your ophthalmologist may have you give your child eye drops to dilate the pupil in the eye with the cataract to improve the vision in that eye and have you place a patch over the child’s “good” eye for a few hours each day to force the brain to use the eye with the cataract. This helps keep the muscles in that eye strong to prevent amblyopia and to develop as much vision as possible.
When Will I Know That Surgery Is Necessary?
Your doctor will monitor your child’s cataract closely. Monthly visits may be required to manage your child’s vision. When the cataract has grown enough to occlude the child’s ability to see, surgery to remove the cataract and implant an intraocular lens will be scheduled. Patching and other therapy may need to continue for several months or years even after surgery to ensure the eyesight develops. Cataract surgery is an outpatient procedure performed in the office. After surgery, your child may need to keep the eye covered during the healing process.
Cataract Surgery in Pontiac & Clarkston
Cataract surgery is another of the comprehensive services offered to patients in the Clarkston and Pontiac area at Wilkinson Eye Center. W. Scott Wilkinson, M.D. performs cataract surgery weekly at TruVista Surgery Center in Troy. Dr. Wilkinson is a Board-Certified ophthalmologist with specialty training in refractive and cataract surgery.
Serving Clarkston, Lake Orion, Rochester, Troy, White Lake, Fenton, Waterford, Auburn Hills, Pontiac, Bloomfield Hills, Keego Harbor, West Bloomfield, Birmingham and all of Metro Detroit. Call (248) 334-4931 or fill out a Contact Form here to schedule an appointment.