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Can uveal coloboma be treated?

Diana Meeks
Diana Meeks on behalf of Sigma Nursing
Family Practitioner

Patients with uveal coloboma should have yearly follow-up exams by an eye care professional. However, there is no medication or surgery currently that can cure or reverse coloboma and make the eye whole again. Treatment consists of helping patients adjust to vision problems and make the most of the vision they have by:

Correcting any refractive error with glasses or contact lenses. Maximizing the vision of the most affected eye in asymmetric cases. This may involve patching or using drops to temporarily blur vision in the stronger eye for a limited period of time. Ensuring that amblyopia (lazy eye) does not develop in childhood in case of asymmetry. Sometimes, amblyopia treatment (patching, glasses, and/or drops) can improve vision in eyes even with severe coloboma. Treating any other eye condition that may be present with coloboma, such as cataracts. Treating any complications that might arise later in life from retinal coloboma, such as the growth of new blood vessels at the back of the eye (neovascularization) and/or retinal detachment. Using low-vision devices, as needed. Making use of rehabilitation services, such as early intervention programs. Offering genetic counseling to the patient and family members.

If the eye with the coloboma is very small (microphthalmia), other follow-ups may be needed. Conformers and expanders may be used to help support the face and encourage the eye socket to grow. Children may also be fitted for a prosthetic (artificial) eye to improve appearance. As the face develops, new conformers will need to be made.

For people who wish to alter the appearance of a coloboma affecting the front of the eye, two options are currently available:

Colored contact lenses that make the black part of the eye (pupil) round. Surgery to make the pupil rounder. This procedure pulls and sutures together the lower edges of the iris.

This answer is based on source information from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.