Cataract surgery in infancy may increase the risk of glaucoma in childhood

Tuesday, December 22, 2020 (HealthDay News)

Infants who have had cataract removal surgery are at increased risk of vision-threatening glaucoma in the second half of childhood, researchers say.

Glaucoma can damage the optic nerve (the connection between the eyes and the brain) and cause vision loss.

In the United States, less than 2,500 babies are born each year with cataracts (cloudiness of the crystalline lens of the eye). Surgery is used to remove the affected lens. Some babies receive lens implants, while others use contact lenses (for one eye) or eyeglasses (for both eyes) without lenses to help them focus properly.

This long-term study included 110 children who were born with cataracts in one eye and had their cataracts removed at 1-6 months. They were randomly assigned to receive an artificial lens implant or go without a lens.

Ten years after cataract removal surgery, a study funded by the National Eye Institute (NEI) found that children in both groups had a 22% risk of glaucoma. JAMA Ophthalmology..

Dr. Scott Lambert, Principal Investigator, Professor of Ophthalmology, Stanford University, California, said:

Twenty-five eyes (24%) developed glaucoma, and 21 eyes (20%) were suspected of having glaucoma due to increased intraocular pressure.

The lifetime risk of glaucoma in infants who have had their cataracts removed is unknown, but the study found that the risk increased to 9% in 1 year, 17% in 5 years, and 22% in 10 years.

“These findings underscore the need for long-term glaucoma surveillance in infant cataract surgery patients and also provide some assurance that intraocular lenses do not need to be placed during cataract surgery,” said NEI Director. Dr. Michael Chen said. In the laboratory news release.

Dr. Sharon Friedman, lead author of the study, a pediatric glaucoma specialist at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, said, “Children with cataracts removed should see an ophthalmologist at least once a year. There is. “

“Children diagnosed with above-normal intraocular pressure without signs of glaucoma or eye damage (called suspected glaucoma) are every 4-6 months, depending on their stability and eye health. Must be monitored, “said the Friedman release.

For more information

The American Academy of Ophthalmology details cataracts in children.

Source: National Eye Institute, News Release, December 17, 2020

Robert Prite

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