Pediatric Cataract

About Pediatric Cataracts

A cataract is a clouding of the crystalline lens within the eye, rendering the eye unable to focus light properly. Some cataracts are mild and inconsequential, but others can be severe and sight-threatening.

Although cataracts are thought to be something that only affects older individuals, children, and even newborns can have them. Congenital cataracts are often random malformations or hereditary but also can occur with metabolic problems or when, during pregnancy, the mother develops infections such as:

  • Measles or rubeola
  • Chicken pox
  • Cytomegalovirus
  • Herpes simplex
  • Herpes zoster
  • Poliomyelitis
  • Influenza
  • Epstein-Barr virus
  • Syphilis
  • Toxoplasmosis

Cataracts can be small and not interfere with vision, but if they do interfere with vision our pediatric ophthalmologist can help. Early diagnosis and treatment are critical to success, and this often involves surgery, glasses and/or contact lenses, patching, and frequent follow-up care.

Treatments We Offer

The main treatment for cataracts is surgery to remove them. If your child's cataract is small and doesn't affect their vision, it may not need to be removed, and sometimes small cataracts are treated with eye drops to enlarge the pupil so the patient can see around the cataract. If the cataract is affecting their eyesight, it should be removed as soon as possible.

Why Choose Columbia?

Columbia pediatric ophthalmologists are world-renowned specialists when it comes to pediatric cataracts. From our researchers to our physicians to our surgeons, we offer the most advanced diagnostic and treatment services for the detection and removal of pediatric cataracts in the New York City region. Whether your baby is born with a congenital cataract of if it develops later in childhood, Columbia’s pediatric cataract specialists are here to help.