Although a cataract in kids is rare, there is a possibility that they can develop unilateral (in one eye) or bilateral (in both eyes) cataracts. Minor cataracts may not hinder vision in children. However, progressive cataracts may lead to severe vision impairment.
A change in the eye lens causes cataracts, and the lens becomes less clear and transparent. The lens is the transparent structure behind the pupil, letting light rays pass through and focus on the retina. Cataracts are common when people are aging and affect older adults. However, there are cases where a cataract in newborns is common and can also develop in children at a young age. This condition is commonly known as childhood cataracts.
Common types of juvenile cataracts found in children are:
Some babies tend to be born with cataracts or develop them in childhood. Congenital cataracts develop in both eyes. This kind of cataract does not generally affect the child’s vision and does not need to be removed.
This type generally develops because of another illness. Diabetes or any other eye illness can be the cause of secondary cataracts. Steroids can also cause this type of cataract.
An eye injury can cause a traumatic cataract. It can happen when your child’s eye gets hurt, injured, or affected for any reason. It can also occur years after the eyes are affected.
Any exposure to radiation causes this kind of cataract.
Children are rarely born with cataracts, and some develop it due to some reasons. The most common causes of cataracts in children are:
Symptoms of pediatric cataracts can be different for each child. These include:
Symptoms of cataracts may appear similar to symptoms of other health conditions. A health care provider or doctor will be the best person to diagnose.
More common in adults, cataracts are not common in children. However, the following children are more likely to have cataracts:
Your healthcare provider or pediatrician will check and know about your child’s health history. Your child will then be recommended an eye examination. They will suggest the following tests:
Treatment of cataracts depends on the severity of the contract and other symptoms, age, and general health of the child. The pediatric ophthalmologist may monitor small cataracts that do not affect vision. However, if the cataract significantly hinders vision, surgical removal or insertion of an artificial lens may be needed to restore normal vision.
Depending on the child’s age, an artificial plastic lens is placed in the eye during the initial cataract surgery. In children less than a year of age, no intraocular lens is placed, and when the child has grown, a lens is implanted. Post-surgery, they may need short-term treatment with anti-inflammatory and antibiotic eye drops.
They may also need a combination of the below to help good vision post-surgery:
Cataracts that are not treated in children could cause loss of vision entirely. Children are more prone to vision problems if cataracts are not treated as opposed to adults with cataracts. A child’s eyes develop until the age of 8-9, and an untreated cataract could cause severe vision impairment and interfere with the development of the eye.
If your child is displaying any of the above symptoms or one’s like below, you must seek the advice of a doctor:
While one cannot prevent most cases of cataracts, you can avoid them in some cases. A reduction in exposure to the sun may reduce the development of cataracts and skin disorders, especially in adulthood. To protect your child from the sun, you can do the following:
There are some essential aspects about cataracts in children that will help you to prevent or avert any possible danger.
Cataracts can cause severe vision loss in children, and if treated promptly, you can avert the risk. Treatments are increasingly more successful, and with follow-up care plans, children can sometimes have excellent vision for the rest of their lives.
This post was last modified on November 3, 2021 7:22 pm
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