Microphthalmia – Baby Born With Small Eye

Microphthalmia is the most common reason for children coming to see us. It is a developmental disorder of the eye that literally means small eye. This can occur in one or both eyes. There are numerous reasons why this could occur, it could be congenital or spontaneous.

The treatment for microphthalmia involves fitting a series of clear shells over the microphthalmic eye to encourage the growth of the orbit and keep the symmetry of the face. Once we have found a shape that is comfortable and opens up the eye lids, we will look at putting in an iris and making up a cosmetic lens.

In some cases the child may have some sight in the eye. Although there are tests to determine the condition of the retina, there is no real way of telling exactly how much sight they have until they are old enough to verbalise it. If there is a chance that there is any sight, even if there is just light perception, when it comes to making a cosmetic lens we will use clear pupils to allow the light to come in. Below is a photo of a young girl who we have done this for.

Before and After


There is a yahoo chat group set up especially for people with microphthalmia and anophthalmia: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/microphthalmia/

If you are a parent with a baby born with Microphthalmia there is a fantastic support website designed especially for parents – www.wonderbaby.org/maps

5 Responses to Microphthalmia – Baby Born With Small Eye

  1. Avatar for Gayatri
    Gayatri September 10, 2014 at 12:58 am #

    Good one, nice


  2. Avatar for Terri
    Terri April 3, 2016 at 7:38 pm #

    My granddaughter was born on Sunday 27th March with what seems to be one eye and the other eyelid has been very hard to open and doctors think it looks like there may not be an eyeball as the eye lid is quite recessed. We have been told we have to wait 4-6 weeks to see a specialist at the Royal children’s hospital yet our local doctor here in Leongatha would like something to happen sooner. Don’t know if you can help or not but would greatly appreciate any information you could provide. PS Tears come out the eye that won’t open but we are concerned she maybe getting an infection in that eye. Regards Terri

  3. Avatar for Rob
    Rob August 25, 2016 at 9:27 am #

    Did you find any assistance? I lost my eye in 2014 and am researching now to see if there are any organizations that help with prosthetic eye costs.

  4. Avatar for spiwe nyika
    spiwe nyika January 5, 2017 at 10:36 pm #

    my baby was born with both eyes small. i am from Zimbabwe and there is no medical solution for her condition. is there anywhere i can get assistance for my baby girl

  5. Avatar for Michelle
    Michelle January 19, 2017 at 12:35 am #

    Is a scleral shell the best solution for an adult? I was born with microphthalmia. I got a shell to cover my eye. However, as I age, the shell just was not fitting anymore. So does this mean my eye was growing? How often do I need to get a new one? Now that I am older, I just want to have something that will always fit in my eye. Right now, it bulges out a bit and causing sagginess underneath the lid.

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