Aphakia means the lens is clear, oval-shaped structure behind the colored part of your eye which means iris and pupil. It focuses light rays on the retina. The vision is out of focus and blurry without clear lenses. Aphakia can be caused due to cataract surgery. It involves surgical removal of the cataract. A cataract can lead to clouding of the natural lens of the eye. It is replaced with an artificial lens or intraocular lens. If the injury occurs, the lens can be damaged or lost due to eye trauma. A congenital defect, very rarely babies are born without lenses. Others are born with detached or abnormal lenses.
Symptoms associated with Aphakia
The main symptom of aphakia is blurred vision but also affects close vision, those with aphakia are very farsighted or cannot see well up close, as this requires clear lenses. Aphakia can affect distance vision as well. The eyes lose their ability to accommodate or change focus between distances. Color imperfection can occur as color may appear faded. Aphakia can also cause iridodonesis or a jiggly iris. Without a lens, the iris jiggles or trembles as you move your eyes.
For a diagnosis to detect aphakia during a comprehensive eye examination, an ophthalmologist uses a bright light and microscope slit lamp for adults and older children. Aphakia may be detected with ultrasound in some cases for congenital unborn babies.
Treatment for Aphakia
An aphakia is usually treated with surgery. An intraocular lens replaces the damaged, detached, or missing lens. The intraocular lens is implanted in subsequent surgery with newborns. For complications with intraocular lens placement because a newborn’s eye is at increased risk. An intraocular lens replacement in a special contact lens can help provide clear vision in infant babies too. Aphakia contact lenses can also be worn by adults. But they work best when both eyes are without lenses, glasses can treat aphakia. Because the lenses are very thick and heavy and contacts are available, they are not used as often as in the past. Treatment should be needed as soon as possible for babies and children with aphakia. It may be irreversible, without treatment, aphakia can lead to amblyopia. This will happen when the brain loses its connection with the eye and vision is turned off. Aphakia is when a person does not have a lens in one or both eyes. When people are born with it or acquired at any stage of life after a surgery or injury.
Characteristics of Aphakia
It’s vital for focusing the objects, the lens is a transparent structure located behind the iris. The iris controls how much light enters the eye. Light enters the eye through the pupil. It then reaches the lens, which will focus it on the retina. The person will have problems focusing and seeing things. The symptoms of aphakia are blurred vision, farsightedness, difficulty to focus on objects, decreasing focus when the distance from an object changes, and the colors seem faded. Causes of aphakia can occur due to injuries, cataracts, or genetics. Some infants can be born without lenses, but it is rare. In some cases, after the birth of a child, it may not form or the body may absorb the lenses shortly.
Congenital aphakia is a rare anomaly, which can be associated with other ocular disorders. Primary and secondary congenital aphakia can be subdivided into two forms. Primary aphakia can occur during development. Infants can be born without a lens due to mutation or problem. It can be associated with microphthalmia, anterior segment aplasia, absence of the iris, and sclerocornea. Secondary aphakia occurs when the body absorbs the lens before birth. Some of those cases are associated with congenital rubella syndrome caused by maternal infection with the rubella virus during pregnancy.
Cataract impact on Aphakia
Cataract surgery: The clouding of the lens of your eye is called cataracts. Your eye cannot focus light in the same way, when a cataract clouds the lens, leading to blurred vision or other vision loss. Until a cataract causes enough, most people wait, and vision loss will be a problem to get surgery. People need cataract surgery to see and treat other eye conditions, such as age-related changes in the retina or diabetic retinopathy. The lens is removed and replaced with an artificial implant during the procedure in most cases. The surgeries for adults and babies are different. In case of surgery in adults when the aphakia is caused by cataracts or an eye injury, the doctor will remove the damaged lens in surgery. The patient needs local anesthesia and it will take approximately one hour. If the damage to both eyes is damaged, the surgery is performed in one eye at a time. In case of surgery for babies when babies are born with cataracts, the doctor often recommends surgery before the first month of life. The lens may not be replaced immediately, and the procedure to insert an artificial intraocular lens is performed after the first year of life. Children who undergo congenital cataract surgery must schedule frequent eye exams during the first decade of life. The patients may develop complications after surgery. Aphakia glaucoma causes complex mechanical and biochemical changes in the structures of the vitreous and anterior segments, and the precise mechanism of glaucoma in aphakia is not fully understood. Patients can develop aphakic glaucoma, a secondary type of condition that is more difficult to treat than primary glaucoma. Retinal detachments occur in up to 3.6% of patients and the risk is higher in young myopic patients after cataract surgery.