Sunday, Jan 1, 2023 by Nisha Gupta, MD

This month we will talk about the condition aphakia.

What is aphakia?

Aphakia is when the eye does not have a lens. The lens normally focuses light and images to the back of the eye. When there is no lens to focus the image, the vision is blurry.

What are the causes?

Cataract surgery may lead to aphakia. Usually when the cataract is removed, an artificial lens is put in its place. In some instances, like surgery on infants or children, the artificial lens is not placed. An injury may cause loss of the lens. Rarely, babies are born with a damaged lens or without a lens.

What are the symptoms?

  • Blurry vision
  • Seeing faded colors
  • Trouble with changing focus at different distances
  • Having an iris that moves (called iridodonesis)

How is it detected?

A comprehensive exam including checking the vision and dilating the eyes to view the lens are imperative. Prenatal ultrasounds can detect aphakia in some cases.

What are the treatments?

Surgery: Usually aphakia is treated with surgery. An artificial lens is implanted to replace the missing or damaged natural lens.

Contact lenses: These special lenses have a high power. They can be used in adults or in babies before they have surgery to place an implant.

Glasses: These are more commonly used in patients who have bilateral aphakia (both eyes do not have a lens). Glasses are not used as often because they can be very thick, heavy, and cause issues with depth perception.

Return next month for a discussion on a new topic!

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