Visual development in children with congenital cataract
Visual−deprivation experiments on cats and monkeys have showed that complete unilateral eye occlusion of these animals until twelve weeks of age can produce a permanent amblyopia and a decrease in cell density along the geniculocortical pathway. Reversal of the amblyopia was possible if the occlusion was removed before eight weeks of age in monkeys. Although this critical age is established for animals, the exact critical period has not been determined for humans, partly because of the problem with assessment of infant vision. This chapter focuses on the relationship between visual development and age at surgery for patients with total congenital cataract. In patients with total congenital cataract, retinal image formation is severely degraded from birth until the lens is removed by surgery and the optics is restored by a contact lens.
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