Article Reviewed By: Dr. Shradha Goel, M.B.B.S., M.S. Ophthalmology
Did you know that cataracts, those cloudy formations that can blur our vision, can also affect children?
Well, it is true. Cataracts are not just associated with aging, but they can also affect children, and they are also likely to suffer from impaired vision and potential long-term complications.
Pediatric cataracts are relatively rare but should not be underestimated, as they can have a significant impact on a child’s visual development. As a parent, guardian, or caregiver, it is crucial to be aware of this condition and understand what it means for your child.
If you’re a parent seeking answers and understanding about this eye condition, you’ve come to the right place. In this blog, we will brief you on everything you need to know about this condition in children.
But first, let us understand What exactly is Pediatric Cataracts?
A pediatric cataract is a condition characterized by the presence of cloudy formations in the lens of a child’s eye. This condition can hinder the passage of light through the eye, resulting in blurred or impaired vision.
Pediatric cataracts can result in impaired vision and potentially lead to long-term complications if left untreated. The exact causes of this condition can vary, ranging from genetic factors to certain infections or trauma. Early detection and appropriate cataract treatment are crucial steps to take. In some cases, you may also require surgery to remove or replace the affected lens and restore clear vision, followed by ongoing monitoring to ensure optimal visual outcomes.
Did you know?
Approximately 3 in 10,000 children are affected by pediatric cataracts, which can vary according to geographical location and more. Ensure that you take proactive steps for your child’s eye health.
How To Detect Pediatric Cataracts in Children?
A pediatric cataract can either be present at birth or develop during childhood. There are various factors that can contribute to the development of cataracts in children.
In some cases, cataracts may occur due to abnormal lens development while the baby is still in the womb. This can happen as a result of certain conditions or infections that affect the development of the lens. In certain cases, cataracts may appear spontaneously without a discernible cause.
While some children may not exhibit any symptoms, there are several signs that can indicate the presence of cataracts. The signs include:
- One of the most noticeable signs is decreased vision in the affected eye. The child may have difficulty seeing clearly or may show a preference for using the unaffected eye.
- Another sign is the whitening or clouding of the lens. A child eye specialist in mumbai will further conduct a comprehensive eye exam to detect cataracts.
- The misalignment of the eyes, also known as squint, may occur as a result of the visual impairment caused by cataracts. It is important to note that not all cases of strabismus are related to cataracts, but it can be one of the indicators to consider.
- Apart from that, children who are sensitive to light or hold items very closely to their eyes to see them can also indicate signs of cataracts.
What Are The Treatment Options?
If your child is suffering from any of the above-mentioned symptoms, then it is important to opt for cataract treatment immediately.
The most effective way to treat pediatric cataracts is through surgery. The decision to proceed with surgery depends on the size of the cataract and its impact on the child’s vision.
If the cataract is small and doesn’t affect vision, it may not require immediate removal. But if it does affect the eyesight, it is recommended to have it removed promptly to prevent long-term vision problems.
During the surgery, your child will receive general anesthesia to ensure they are not awake or feel any discomfort. The surgeon will utilize specialized tools to break up the cataract and remove it through a small incision.
Children with cataracts in both eyes or where one eye had a more severe cataract than the other may develop a condition called amblyopia, commonly known as lazy eye. Amblyopia occurs when one eye becomes stronger than the other, leading to decreased visual acuity in the weaker eye.
Fortunately, amblyopia can be effectively managed by a qualified eye care professional. The treatment may involve various methods, such as patching the stronger eye or using eye drops to blur vision temporarily, thus encouraging the weaker eye to strengthen and improve visual function.
If you’re looking for effective treatment options for cataracts or amblyopia, then let Arohi Eye Hospital be the ray of light. We specialize in paediatric ophthalmology and can provide the necessary care.
Often asked, Do cataracts run in family?
The answer is yes, cataracts can be inherited.
So if you have a relative or someone in your family who has a history of cataracts, then there is a chance that other family members will inherit cataracts. This condition can also be present at birth or develop shortly thereafter due to inherited gene mutations.
Now that you have a clear understanding of pediatric cataracts, it is crucial to remain vigilant regarding the signs and risk factors associated with this condition. By promptly identifying any symptoms, it is advisable to take immediate action and seek assistance from Arohi Eye Hospital – the best eye hospital in Mumbai.
You can rely on Arohi Eye Hospital for safe and reliable treatment. We ensure the best possible care for all our patients. Don’t delay; book an appointment right away!