Contact lenses for babies after cataract surgery
Wednesday, March 26 2014 | 00 h 00 min | News
A clinical trial funded by the National Eye Institute in the United States suggests that contact lenses are the ideal treatment for babies who undergo cataract surgery.
Babies who undergo cataract surgery, like adults, are generally implanted with an artificial lens in their eye. This is to ensure the best long-term vision and reduce the risk of infection, compared to an external contact lens.
However, it is difficult for surgeons to judge the correct focusing power required when implanting the lenses in babies, as their eyes are still developing and growing. Also, there are more postoperative side effects for babies than there are for adults.
The trial, involving 114 newborn infants across 12 clinical centres, showed that there was no difference in visual acuity between the two methods after a few months or after four years. The group that had received artificial lenses, however, developed more postsurgical complications.
“For most infants with unilateral cataract, contact lenses are a better option than an artificial lens,” says Dr. Scott Lambert, the study’s lead investigator.