Cataracts occur when the lens of the eye experience changes that cause it become opaque or cloudy. The condition often comes with age, but in certain cases, cataracts can be congenital, which means it can be inborn or inherited. When a newborn baby has congenital cataract, their vision is hampered.
Symptoms of congenital cataracts
Congenital cataracts can be present when the baby is born, or develop as the baby grows older. It can affect one or both eyes and get bigger, resulting in the worsening vision of the child. Aside from poor vision, the cataracts can also cause the child’s eyes to wobble and/or or squint–a condition where the each eye is looking at a different direction than the other.
It is routinary for hospitals to inspect a baby’s eyes within 72 hours of birth and again at six to eight weeks old. The presence of congenital cataracts is usually identified after these tests are conducted.
When should the child have cataract surgery?
Ideally, cataract surgery should be performed as soon as the condition is detected. This is especially true of the cataract is quite significant. Taking care of congenital cataract immediately increases the chances of your baby’s vision system to develop normally. According to some experts, the removal of a visually significant cataract should normally be done within six weeks and three months.
How congenital cataracts are treated
Often, congenital cataracts are very minimal and have little to no effect on a child’s vision. However, if the cataract is significant and affects both eyes, they can hamper your child’s normal sight development. If this is the case, surgery to remove the cataracts is usually recommended.
Once the cataract is removed, the next step is to correct the child’s vision. The affected lens may sometimes be replaced using surgically implanted lens. However, the most common vision solution for infants will be eyeglasses. In some cases, contact lenses may be used, depending on the need. It is absolutely important to apply vision correction right after cataracts surgery because without it, the child will still have poor vision. Likewise, normal infant vision development will also be affected.
It can be difficult to predict how much your child’s vision will be affected post-surgery, but a degree of reduced vision in the affected eye or eyes can be expected. That said, many children with congenital cataracts manage to live a full and normal life.
For more information about congenital cataracts, or if you want to have your child checked for the condition, visit Eye Clinic London.
Congenital Cataracts, AllAboutVision.com