What To Know About Children & Cataract Surgery

Posted on: 11 January 2023

As a parent, you know that hearing your child may need cataract surgery is frightening. The good news is that cataract surgery is a safe and effective way to restore your child's vision.

With proper care and follow-up, many children can enjoy completely normal eyesight after the procedure. If your child may be undergoing cataract surgery, here's what you need to know. 

What Are Cataracts in Children?

Cataracts are caused by a clouding of the lens in the eye that affects vision. In children, they may be caused by a variety of factors such as congenital or birth defects, eye trauma, medication, or illness.

Cataracts can be present at birth and are also common in premature babies. Children may also develop cataracts over time due to long-term contact lens wear, steroid use, certain medications, or infections.

Is Cataract Surgery Always the Right Option?

Cataract surgery is often the best way to restore a child's vision. The procedure is typically safe and requires minimal downtime for recovery. Still, it's not suitable in all cases.

Children's eyes are still developing, so the timing and type of surgery may need to be carefully considered. In some cases, surgery may be delayed until a child is older. This will allow your child's vision to become more stable.

What Happens During Surgery?

The specific process of cataract surgery in children can vary depending on the age of the child and the severity of their condition. Generally speaking, it involves making tiny incisions in the eye to remove the cloudy lens and replace it with an artificial intraocular lens.

The procedure may be done under local or general anesthesia, depending on the age and comfort level of the child. After surgery, your child will need to wear an eye patch for a few days until their vision stabilizes.

How Do Optometrists Monitor your Child's Progress?

Before and after cataract surgery, optometrists will monitor your child's progress closely. They'll use specialized tests to measure the clarity of your child's vision and check for any signs of complications. 

This helps ensure that the artificial lens is functioning properly and that your child isn't developing any new problems in their eyes. Additionally, your child may need to wear contact lenses or glasses after surgery to have the best possible vision.

Discuss Cataract Surgery for Your Child With the Optometrist

If you're considering cataract surgery for your child, it's important to talk to an optometrist about the risks and benefits associated with the procedure.

An optometrist can answer any questions you have about the process and explain what kind of follow-up care may be necessary after the procedure.