A cloudy or opaque area in the eye lens is termed as cataract. By default, this lens is very clear and allows light to pass through it easily which in turn makes an image on the retina. The clearer the lens is, the sharper the vision will be. When the lens becomes hazy, light is scattered and the image becomes distorted. Thick hazy layer on the lens can lead to total blindness. Generally it develops due to aging, but even children are not safe from this eye condition. It can be present at the time of birth as well.
The chances of its development at any stage of life cannot be ignored. There are a few chances of cataract development at the time of birth or in childhood. These develop because of heredity and genetic disorders. It can be bilateral (affecting both eyes) or unilateral (affecting one eye). Eye drops for cataract treatment can be very helpful in any kind of eye condition. The treatment depends on whether it is bilateral or unilateral. In case of unilateral cataract, surgery is recommended as soon as possible to prevent it from further spreading. Although it is not the case with bilateral cataract.
Most of the times congenital cataracts are smaller in size and they are treatable. There are very rare cases where the infant's eyes are severely affected. In this case, surgery is the only option. There are cases where the cataract is removed at the age of 10 days only. Lens is broken with microsurgical instrument and removed through small cuts. After the removal, focusing power can be restored with contact lenses, glasses or intraocular lenses. Cataract treatment is incomplete without eye drops.
If the child is under 2 years of age, contact lenses are recommended after surgery. Focusing power and pupil changes rapidly in the age. So this is the most suitable option. Intraocular or artificial lenses can be used to replace natural lenses in infants. This is not a very commonly used method. But by far, the results are excellent. When contact lenses or intraocular lenses cannot be used due to any medical problems, glasses are recommended. Eye drops for cataract treatment are recommended in every case. In unilateral cataract, one eye is generally stronger than the other. There are chances of developing amblyopia or abnormal visual development.