The focusing power of the original lens, removed during cataract surgery, must be replaced to restore vision. Intraocular lenses (IOLs), permanent plastic lenses placed inside the eye, are often implanted in older children as they are in adults. In infants, IOLs are controversial because the eyes grow and change their prescriptions during the first few years of life. Many surgeons prefer contact lenses or even glasses for younger children.
Regardless of the type of correction, children need follow-up exams to avoid possible complications, including glaucoma, scar tissue forming in the pupil, and amblyopia. Often, children will need eye muscle surgery because the eye turns or crosses.
Despite these problems, cataracts are the single most treatable cause of childhood blindness. After surgery, most children can see the blackboard in school (20/60-20/100). While some do not do as well, with appropriate correction, many children see almost normally.