Ophthalmologist Questions Cataract

My son is 3 years old and has developed cataract. What should I do?

My son who is 3 years old has developed cataract in his right eye. Although his vision was okay since birth, this condition has caused his eyesight to become blurred. What should I do?

16 Answers

Please take him to a pediatric ophthalmologist. This is an ophthalmologist with extra training specifically in children's eye problems. Go to WWW.AAPOS.ORG for more information. There is some urgency in this to avoid permanent decrease in vision.
I am guessing that you have already had this evaluated by a pediatric ophthalmologist. Are you certain the cataract is one eye only? Is the eye otherwise normal? Do not work with an optometrist on this as these conditions are way beyond their training and experience. An eye blocked by a cataract will gradually lose vision unless the cataract is removed. This is not an emergency - there is plenty of time for the right decisions to be made. The options and treatments constitute a long list and it is better to have the pediatric ophthalmologist answer these questions. I don't know where you are located but most medical centers with an ophthalmology department will have a pediatric specialist. Larger cities may have one in independent practice as well. Hopefully you have made this contact already.
See a pediatric ophthalmologist immediately. If it’s obstructing vision this could lead to a lazy eye. You also need to find out why he got cataract. Possible trauma or an eye condition causing it.
See an ophthalmologist immediately!! Juvenile cataracts need to be treated immediately to prevent permanent visual loss in that eye. Go ASAP!!
The issue is amblyopia vs developing.eye as implanting the predicted IOL power won't be accurate as the child develops. Need to know what kind of cataract and if dilation would improve his best corrected vision. If cataract surgery is the only option I would recommend a cataract surgeon who is comfortable with pediatric case, do a good anterior capsulotomy and on completion of the cataract removal do a posterior capsu lotomy with an optic capture in the posterior capsulorrhexis. This apparently decreases the need for vitrectomy and certainly precludes a YAG capsulotomy. Even when this is done well the child needs to be followed closely for amblyopia preferably by a pediatric ophthalmologist.
Thanks for your question. Please consult with a board-certified pediatric ophthalmologist in your area. Thank you.
The correct answer depends on the size and location of the cataract. If it is less than 3mm in size, even if it is in the center of the lens, it can be observed. Please do the responsible thing and take your son to a pediatric ophthalmologist to know for certain. To not treat a visually-significant cataract can result in amblyopia (inability for him to ever see 20/20 with that eye for the rest of his life!!) and/or strabismus (misalignment of the right and left eyes).
You need to see a pediatric ophthalmologist right away. The cataract can be depriving your child of proper development of vision and lead to amblyopia which is untreated is permanent. Look at your child to make sure his eyes are straight of if they go out or in. Make note of this and tell the doctor when you see him. Your son will need to go to tertiary medical center that has experience with pediatric cataracts and will need contact lenses or spectacles after surgery. A family history and medical metabolic workup will also be needed. This will be the beginning of a long journey.

Good Luck.
His vision is affected and can lead to amblyopia, if not treated. See your eye doctor for evaluation. My impression is that removal of the cataract is needed sooner or later. A lens implant is needed. Future management as he grows will result in changing refraction and spectacles to ensure vision is corrected till his eyes stabilise as a teenager.
Find a pediatric ophthalmologist in your area and consult with him/her about surgical removal options if they are indicated
Seek care with a Pediatric Ophthalmologist. There are many reasons a cataract can develop.
If it is truly a cataract (which should be diagnosed by an eye doctor - typically during a dilated eye exam), then cataract surgery may be warranted. However, the first important question is why did a cataract develop? Was there trauma to the eye, infection, a neoplasm, retinal detachment or other problem that led to the cataract? If so those problems would also need to be addressed. At this point, I would recommend seeing a pediatric ophthalmologist (preferably one who performs cataract surgery). The surgery (if the cataract is the only problem) is typically not challenging but the vision recovery after surgery is VERY important and potentially challenging and labor intensive. In some cases a cataract may be noted but not affect the vision significantly, in which case observation until the cataract worsens is the best course of action.

David Dodds
If his vision is truly blurred due to his cataract, he needs to see a pediatric ophthalmologist. They will probably recommend cataract surgery.
This is a serious condition that can cause amblyopia if left untreated. You should see a pediatric ophthalmologist and follow the doctor's recommendation.
Seek out a pediatric ophathalmologist
Your son should see a pediatric ophthalmologist (surgeon) ASAP. If he has signs of weaker vision in his right eye (amblyopia), this needs to be treated right away, otherwise irreversible damage to eyesight can occur!