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Blind students with white canes waiting to cross Congress Avenue, a busy six lane road.

Aphakia

DESCRIPTION: Absence of the lens, due to surgical removal, perforating wound or ulcer, or congenital anomaly; causes a loss of accommodation, hyperopia, and a deep anterior chamber. Complications include detachment of the vitreous or retina, and glaucoma.

TREATMENT: Strong convex lens prescription, in glasses or possibly contact lenses.

IMPLICATIONS: Good illumination, but avoid glare and excessive light; seating away from windows; good contrast in printed materials.

There is currently some controversy over the use of "black light" with aphakic children. Ultra-violet light is thought to be absorbed by the lens, thus protecting the retina from exposure. When there is no lens to perform this function, the retina is exposed and may be damaged. Precautionary measures suggest that the use of "black light" with any child should be limited, and that care should be taken to shield the light source from the eyes (i.e., do not allow the child to look directly into the light source).

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