WHAT ARE PEDIATRIC APHAKIC CONTACT LENSES?
Some children are born with cataracts, which is a clouding of the natural lens that all people are born with and helps us to see up close. If the cataract is significant, a surgeon will have to surgically remove the cataract.
Sometimes when children are very small, especially infants, the Doctor will leave them without a lens (aphakic) in order for the eye to develop before replacing the lens with a plastic intraocular implant.
These children are left without a lens which means they are missing about +15 D to +32 D of prescription and cannot see at distance or near. These patients are given very strong glasses and are fit as soon as possible with special aphakic contact lenses so that they can see clearly and the development of the eye can continue normally.
Aphakic contact lenses are lenses with a very high presription that the parents will insert and remove. Without correcting the vision, the child's brain will get used to the blurry image and will be unable to achieve clear vision at any point in their life (amblyopia).
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 and remove the contact lens on their child.
HOW LONG DO PEDIATRIC APHAKIC CONTACT LENSES LAST?
This depends on the type of lens. When your child comes in for an evaluation, we will decide whether they need to have a soft contact lens or a rigid contact lens. Soft contact lenses require replacement more frequently than rigid lenses.
Frequent follow ups are needed because in infancy and early childhood, the child's prescription changes rapidly and changes to the lens fit and prescription will be needed about every three to six months.
Soft contact lenses for pediatric aphakic patients are made of a material that can become cloudy over time due to natural components of the tears. When the lens looks "white" it's time to change the lens.
HEAR ABOUT THE PROCESS:
Grayson is a former patient of Dr. Morrison. This video was posted online through SUNY College of Optometry with consent.