Moorfields Eye Hospital Dubai has successfully treated a young patient – 15-year-old Rabaa Arif Khalid Ahmed Alyassi – for a severe visual impairment from birth caused by bilateral congenital cataracts (clouding of the lens), nystagmus (a condition in which the eyes make repetitive, uncontrolled movements) and degenerative myopia (shortsightedness). The hospital team undertook a complex surgical procedure to implant custom-made intraocular lenses in both eyes, with very good recovery and end results for the patient. For the first time, Rabaa can see without glasses and now only wears them for reading at school.
Rabaa visited Dr Darakhshanda Khurram wearing very thick lenses in her glasses because of her severe cataract and myopia (Right eye -19.00 DS, Vision 0.9 LogMar and left eye -19.00 DS, Vision 1.1 LogMar). She was unable to read without holding the book very close to her face and this affected her quality of life.
A cataract is a clouding of the eye’s natural lens, behind the iris and the pupil. Cataracts are the most common cause of vision loss in people over the age of 40 and the main cause of blindness in the world, so a teenage patient is relatively unusual. Congenital cataracts means the problem was present at birth and may be relatively insignificant or they can lead to severe visual impairment. Congenital cataracts may affect one or both eyes.
Following detailed examinations, the Moorfields team decided to perform a very complex cataract extraction procedure, combined with a lens implant, supported by the hospital’s advanced technology.
Because of Rabaa’s large eyes and complex cataracts, the hospital had to order especially powerful intraocular lenses for her eyes. She underwent surgery first on the left eye followed by the right eye. Her postoperative recovery was excellent and two months after surgery her vision was: Right eye 0.40, Left eye 0.40.
Commenting on Rabaa’s condition and treatment, Dr. Darakhshanda Khurram,Consultant Paediatric Ophthalmologist at Moorfields Eye Hospital Dubai and Al Jalila Children’s, said: “Rabaa had a complex combination of conditions, with high myopia and dense cataract at such a young age; this was badly affecting the quality of her life and so we decided to go ahead with this complex procedure to help her, and we are all delighted with the excellent results; we will just continue regular monitoring of her eyes. Rabaa’s case does highlight the importance of early and regular eye examinations for children because early treatment can significantly reduce the risk of long-term vision problems.”