Cataract in babies and children

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Discover how cataracts develop in children and how they can be treated.

Key points

  • A cataract is a cloudy area over the lens of the eye. In children under nine, it stops the eye's vision from developing normally and can cause amblyopia.
  • If the cataract is mild, the doctor may decide to prescribe eye drops to make the pupil bigger or not to treat it at all if the vision is not affected. If the cataract is serious, the only way to treat it is to remove all or some of the lens during surgery.
  • After surgery, your child will need a corrective device such as a contact lens, intra-ocular lens or, in rare situations, eye glasses. Your child will also need to wear a patch to help both eyes develop equally strong vision.
  • Your eye doctor will need to check your child's vision regularly after surgery. It is extremely important that you keep all follow-up appointments.
  • Please call the eye doctor if your child has increased pain, swelling or sensitivity to light after surgery or if their corrective device causes any redness, swelling, discharge, pain or other unusual symptoms.
Last updated: December 12th 2012