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"At Boston Children's Hospital, we have a high volume of pediatric cataract cases, which present unique challenges and are different from adult cataracts, so we have a lot of experience helping kids with cataracts."Deborah K. VanderVeen, MD, associate in Ophthalmology at Children?s Hospital Boston
"At Boston Children's Hospital, we have a high volume of pediatric cataract cases, which present unique challenges and are different from adult cataracts, so we have a lot of experience helping kids with cataracts."
Deborah K. VanderVeen, MD, associate in Ophthalmology at Children?s Hospital Boston
Most people think of cataracts as something that happens to our eyes as we age, and age-related cataracts are, in fact, the most common type. But cataracts can also affect newborns and children – and when they do, they can sometimes be accompanied by special urgency and challenges.
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A cataract is a cloudy area in the lens of the eye. The lens should be clear, in order to focus images properly. If the cataract is large or dense enough, it can cause blurry vision or block vision.
A baby or young child with an untreated cataract could be slowly going blind. This is because when the cloudy lens blocks light from getting to the retina (the back of the eye), the retina can’t send visual information to the brain at a crucial time when eye and brain are working together to learn to see. If the cataract isn’t removed in time, it may be too late – the brain may never learn to see, even if the cataract is removed.
How Children’s Hospital Boston approaches cataracts
Babies and children with cataracts require highly specialized care. Our Pediatric Cataract Service offers the expertise, child-modified equipment and advanced technology to diagnose and treat cataracts in even our tiniest patients. Babies and children with cataracts are referred to us from all over the country.
Our pediatric ophthalmologists:
The Pediatric Cataract Service is part of Children’s Department of Ophthalmology, the largest group of full-time practicing pediatric ophthalmologists in the United States.
During her first year of life, Allie DeFrancisco's vision seemed perfect. But by the time she was 15 months old, she developed cataracts, a clouding of the eyes' lenses that affects less than one percent of all children. Read more.
Cataracts: Reviewed by Deborah K. VanderVeen, MD ©Children’s Hospital Boston, 2011
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