A cataract is a condition where the lens inside of the eye is cloudy instead of clear. Cataract is common as we age (see cataract section), but is rare in young children. However, in young children, a cataract is an urgent condition. Without proper visual input from the outside world, the connections from the eye to the brain cannot develop normally. A cataract in a child prevents normal visual input from entering the eye, and prevents development of the connections to the brain, leading to amblyopia.
Pediatric cataract surgery must be performed by an ophthalmologist specializing in pediatric ophthalmology and pediatric cataract surgery. The surgery is performed in a surgery center or in a hospital, and the child is put under general anesthesia. The cloudy lens is removed from
the eye. Depending on the age and condition of the child, an intraocular lens may be implanted at the time of cataract removal, or, at a later time when the child is older.
Your surgeon will discuss the options and recommendations with you.