Cataract is a cloudy or opaque area on the lens of the eye located right behind the iris. The light rays entering the eye are scattered due to cataract, resulting in blurred or distorted vision. Cataract in children may be congenital or may develop during childhood. Symptoms of cataract in children are:
• Not looking directly or respond to faces
• Scowling, squinting or shielding of eyes
• Misaligned eyes
• White reflex in eyes
HOW IS CATARACTS IN CHILDREN DIAGNOSED?
The paediatrician would recommend laboratory tests which include TORCH titers, VDRL, serum calcium and phosphorus levels and urine for reducing substance. The differential diagnosis for leukocoria or white pupil includes retinoblastoma, PFV, retinopathy of prematurity, chorioretinal colobomas, toxocariasis.
HOW IS CATARACTS IN CHILDREN TREATED?
The treatment involves surgical removal of a cataract in an infant or child which is done under general anesthesia using an operating microscope. Once the cataract has been removed, focusing power may be restored by using contact lenses, intraocular lenses or glasses.
DID YOU KNOW?
In babies, vision develops very quickly in the first few weeks. If cataract is not treated during this time, the baby will have difficulty in vision even if a surgery is performed later in life because the brain develops that way.