Aphakia is the term used to describe an eye that does not have a natural lens due to surgical removal, a perforating wound or ulcer, or congenital anomaly.
Aphakia is less common in the adult patient. It may be more common among pediatric patients due to bilateral congenital cataracts.
Aphakia is rarely seen at birth. It most often seen as a result of surgery to remove congenital cataracts (clouding over the lens of the eye, which blocks light). Congenital cataracts usually develop as a result of infection of the fetus or as part of other genetic conditions. The exact cause of these cataracts may be hard to figure out, especially if only one eye is affected.
Complications of aphakia include detachment of the vitreous or retina, and glaucoma.
It is very important to remove the cataracts and treat the aphakia. Treatment for aphakia can include glasses, but contact lenses are often the best choice. Another option includes implanting an artificial lens (pseudophakia). If your child has aphakia, other treatments may be needed in addition to wearing contact lenses. This might include using eye drops or an eye patch, or both. The goal is to make sure your child uses the eye with aphakia, so it does not become lazy.