While many people seem to think that cataracts only occur in the elderly, this is simply not true. Many children must also undergo eye cataract surgery in order to obtain normal optic capabilities. A cataract is an optic condition where the lens of the eye becomes cloudy, which greatly disturbs one's vision. There are many different causes of cataracts in children, such as congenital disorders, genetic predispositions, and trauma to the lens of the eye. Pediatric cataracts are generally rare, though they can appear at any time, seemingly without cause. Whether or not your child's eye doctor will operate depends on several factors including:
Discovering your child's cataracts early is crucial to recovery. When children are young, they are constantly discovering the world and trying to figure out how to do things. If a child's sight is impaired, they are kind of interpreting the world around them incorrectly. It may also be a huge challenge for them to become independent, a skill which many psychologists have deemed one of the most important in young children. Autonomy helps a child to develop their self-confidence. Without the ability to do things for themselves due to their poor vision, they may struggle as they continue to grow. Hence, treating cataracts early is extremely important. If a child has congenital cataracts (they are born with cataracts) they may not be affected as much as a child who develops cataracts after they have begun to see and understand the world.
Type of Cataract
Cataracts could affect one or both eyes. In order to decrease the amount of time a child is left healing from surgery, doctors have developed a way to do both eyes at the same time. Bilateral cataract-removal surgery is usually extremely successful. One-sided cataract surgery is also usually successful, but is more of a challenge to heal from. This is due to the fact that the eyes are extremely connected. So when a child is healing in one eye and trying to function with the other, the eye that is not healing from the injury works harder than it should, causing uneven vision in the eyes. For this reason, an eyepatch is often used to cover the healthy eye so that the recovering eye can be strengthened.
In conclusion, pediatric cataracts, when discovered early, can usually be treated successfully with eye cataract surgery. If you have a child who is dealing with this issue, talk to their eye doctor about which surgery would work best for them.