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Increased glaucoma risk among babies who have cataract surgery

Researchers find that one in five babies who undergo cataract surgery develop glaucoma within 10 years of the procedure

baby and adult hand

Scientists have highlighted that infants who undergo cataract surgery have a 22% chance of developing glaucoma over the next decade.

The research, which was published in JAMA Ophthalmology, noted that this heightened risk was present whether or not the babies received an intraocular lens implant.

The study involved following up 110 infants who received cataract surgery and were either assigned an artificial lens implant or went without a lens.

After 10 years, 25 children had developed glaucoma while a further 21 children had elevated eye pressure.

Visual acuity was similar among children who had developed glaucoma compared to those without the condition, with the researchers attributing this to close monitoring and treatment of the patients.

Lead author, Sharon Freedman, from Duke University, shared that the results support the need for children who have had a cataract removed to be seen at least once a year by an eye care provider.

“Any child diagnosed with glaucoma or above-normal intraocular pressure without signs of ocular damage should be monitored every four to six months depending upon the stability of the condition and the health of the eye,” she shared.