The OneSight EssilorLuxottica Foundation recently attended The Children’s Hospital at Westmead in Sydney to provide aphakic spectacles for babies born with congenital cataracts.
Eyecare professionals representing the charitable arm of EssilorLuxottica provided the eyewear for 15 babies and their families free-of-charge in July 2023.
Specifically, the children are under the care of the Eye Clinic – Ophthalmology and Orthoptic Departments at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead. The clinic is considered the specialist and primary care centre in NSW for congenital and paediatric cataract.
Families attending ophthalmology outpatient appointments or surgery are bulk billed under Medicare, and therefore do not face any out-of-pocket costs.
However, optical aids, medications and other consumables are not covered by Medicare and can often be a financial burden for families. Further, many children with congenital cataracts have multiple disabilities and/or require extra care, with some parents forgoing gainful employment to become full time carers at home.
Patients Ailish and Teddy – children both born with congenital cataract – have been prescribed aphakic glasses as part of their visual rehabilitation since their cataract surgeries at a few weeks of age.
In infants, aphakic contact lenses and/or aphakic glasses are used initially and a few years later, if surgically appropriate for the patient, then secondary intraocular lens implantation occurs once the eye has reached adult size.
Eye Clinic – Ophthalmology and Orthoptic Departments at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead treats on average 12 new babies each year.