WHAT IS PEDIATRIC APHAKIA?
Pediatric aphakia occurs when a child is born with cataracts and has to have them removed. A cataract is a clouding of the crystalline lens that everybody has inside their eye and is able to move to see up close.
Sometimes when children are very small, especially infants, the surgeon will leave them without a lens (aphakic) in order for the eye to develop before replacing the lens with a plastic intraocular implant.
Being left without a lens means the child is missing about +15 D to +32 D of prescription and cannot see clearly far away or up-close. With a blurry picture on the retina, the brain has difficulty knowing what "sharp" vision is. If this is not treated, the brain may never develop those connections and vision will be blurry in the future (amblyopia), even with glasses and contact lenses.
These children need to be fit as soon as possible with special aphakic contact lenses so that a clear image can be achieved and the brain-eye connection can develop properly.
WHAT DOES THE FITTING PROCESS LOOK LIKE?
On the initial consultation, your child will have a comprehensive examination of the health of the eye. Dr. Morrison will find the prescription needed for the eye and decide what type of lens will be appropriate and options will be discussed with you.
The contact lens(es) will be designed by Dr. Morrison and ordered from a laboratory and you will return in 2-3 weeks to trial the initial lens. The parents are taught at this visit how to insert, remove, and care for the contact lenses.
Your child will need a contact lens follow up about every six months in infancy and early childhood since the child's prescription changes rapidly and changes to the lens fit and prescription will be needed.
Dr. Morrison will send correspondence after each visit to your child's surgeon to make sure they are always updated about the contact lens treatment plan and can coordinate care effectively.