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Aphakic and Pediatric contact lenses

Aphakic and Pediatric Contact lenses

Aphakia (no lens inside the eye) due to congenital cataracts or trauma is the most frequent indication for fitting very young children in contact lenses today. To insure proper development of the child”s visual system, it”s imperative to restore vision very soon after congenital cataract removal. Cataract surgeons generally don”t insert intraocular lenses in children under 2  years old during the lens removal. The resultant aphakia is best corrected with contact lenses. Contact lenses may be worn indefinitely if it is determined that the eye doesn”t have the architecture to support an IOL ( Intraocular lens – artificial).
However there are lenses available that can be implanted inside the eye even if the support is weak.  These are known as scleral fixated IOLs. A secondary IOL may be implanted when the eye has developed and/or the child becomes contact lens intolerant.

Frequently Asked Questions

The child of 2 years or younger cannot insert the lens in his eye on his own.  We teach his mother or father the procedure of inserting the lens.  Our experience shows that parents soon start inserting lenses very easily and the childs vision improves gradually.

All children who undergo cataract surgery can be on contact lenses.  However we usually prescribe contact lenses for children who undergo cataract surgery in only one eye.  If the child undergoes a cataract surgery in both eyes then we do prefer prescribing glasses.

The contact lenses that we prescribe children are RGP lenses (Rigid Gas Permeable Lenses).  These lenses usually last for a year and have to be taken out every day, cleaned and worn again the next day.

The child has to wear contact lenses because there is no lens inside the eye.  As mentioned earlier we can implant lenses inside the eye when the child is older, lets say 7-8 years.  So the child will have to wear lenses till the IOL ( Intraocular lenses) are implanted in the eye.

After cataract surgery there is no lens inside the eye.  The condition is called Aphakia.  The child cannot see much when he is aphakic.  Thus it is important for the child to wear lenses.

If the child does not wear lenses there is a risk of the child developing Amblyopia.   Amblyopia or Lazy eye is a serious eye condition and you can read more about it. 

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