Overview of Case History

This case concerns a baby who was born with a congenital cataract. The cataract in his case was an opaque area in the center of the lens. Because of its location, it severely interfered with his vision. If a cataract is larger than 3 millimeters, the standard procedure is to surgically remove it by removing the lens. The lens is the part of the eye which focuses light, so it must be replaced in order to preserve the child's vision.

In adults who have had such an operation, the standard procedure is a intra-ocular implant which puts an artificial lens into the eye. This procedure is not done on infants because their eyes are still developing. As the infant grows, so does his or her eyes which would require the lens to grow with the rest of the eye. The correction of choice for infant is a contact lens. Most children aren't very cooperative during the contact lens insertion process, however the contact lens is crucial for the child's ability to develop functional vision. Most parents learn to insert the contact lenses successfully, however sometimes the child does not take well to the contact lens and in that case, vision is corrected with spectacles. Spectacle correction in infants is not ideal because it is easy for them to get knocked out of position.

An infant getting a contact lens inserted: