congenital cataracts

Cataracts are not an exclusive problem of adulthood, since there are isolated cases in which the person is born with opacity of the lens. Depending on the degree of the injury and whether it occurs in one or both eyes congenital cataracts can be operated or they may not require any type of treatment.

In any case, it is vital that the newborn be seen by a pediatric ophthalmologist so that it evaluates the size of the cataract and decides what is the best way to treat it.

congenital cataracts

Cataracts are not an exclusive problem of adulthood, since there are isolated cases in which the person is born with opacity of the lens. Depending on the degree of the injury and whether it occurs in one or both eyes congenital cataracts can be operated or they may not require any type of treatment.

In any case, it is vital that the newborn be seen by a pediatric ophthalmologist so that it evaluates the size of the cataract and decides what is the best way to treat it.

What are congenital cataracts?

There is talk of congenital cataracts when a baby is born with opacity in the lens, which prevents you from seeing correctly. Depending on the size of the cataract, if it is central or total, the vision may be more or less compromised.

Congenital cataracts they can be unilateral or bilateral, that is, they can occur in one or both eyes. In general, this eye disease is hereditary, although there are other factors that can cause it. The ophthalmological evaluation is essential to determine the cause of this condition, the degree of injury and the ideal treatment to correct the visual defect in time.

Causes of congenital cataracts

This condition is uncommon and in most cases the cause is unknown. However, over time certain factors have been identified that increase the risk of a child being born with cataracts, the most common are:

  • Family history of congenital cataracts.
  • The mother was infected with rubella during pregnancy.
  • Intrauterine infections during the gestation period.
  • Metabolic and renal diseases.
  • Chromosomal syndromes such as Down syndrome.
  • Bad maternal nutrition
  • Exposure of the fetus to radiation during the first trimester of pregnancy.
  • Sexually transmitted diseases such as syphilis.
  • Consumption of corticosteroid medications during pregnancy.
  • Folic acid deficiency in the mother.
congenital cataracts

Symptoms of congenital cataracts

Congenital cataracts tend to manifest very differently from cataracts that develop in old age. Usually the most obvious symptom is a gray or white clouding of the pupil, which should normally be black. Other symptoms of this condition are:

  • In a photograph, the brightness of the eye is absent or both eyes are seen differently.
  • The child performs eye movements very fast.
  • If the cataracts are bilateral, the child is absent from his surroundings because he does not focus on either of the two eyes.
  • Whitish reflection in the eye.
  • Marginal squint.

Can congenital cataracts be operated?

Given the suspicion of a congenital cataract, it is essential that the newborn be evaluated by an ophthalmologist to diagnose the degree of the injury. When the cataract is very small or affects both eyes, it will not be necessary to operate it. However, if the cataract measures more than 2 millimeters and compromises vision, surgical correction will be necessary.

When the cataract involves the visual axis, surgery must be performed before the child meets the 12 weeks born If the cataract affects both eyes, the intervention should be carried out first in the most affected eye and then in the other. The presence of strabismus or nistagmus They are also indicative of surgery.

The operation of congenital cataracts is very different from surgery in adults, since the eye is in development. Even this intervention is different in almost all cases, since the technique to be used will depend on the degree of opacity of the lens. Therefore, it can be said that it is a personalized surgery that will depend on how committed the vision is, whether or not there is an associated ocular pathology and whether the cataract is unilateral or bilateral.

Operation of congenital cataracts

In general, the congenital cataract surgery process It is as follows: a slight incision in the cornea to make a small opening in the lens that allows the lesion to be removed. Then of surgery the neonate should wear a eye patch for 24 hours and then proceed to treat with eye drops and special drugs. When the child is more than 6 months old Life Insurance another intervention will be planned to place an intraocular lens.

When the cataract is unilateral it is very likely that it is necessary to cover the healthy eye with a patch during certain hours a day to stimulate the vision and movement of the affected eye and thus prevent what is known as lazy eye or amblyopia. An eye treated with congenital cataract will not have a vision of 100% because it did not receive the correct development and stimulus during the first days of life. However, the operation allows the child to lead a normal life.

En Área Oftalmológica Avanzada we are specialists in cataract surgery in Barcelona, ​​also treating patients with congenital cataracts. Visit us and discover if it is essential to perform the surgical intervention and what is the most recommended technique.

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Can congenital cataracts be operated?
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Can congenital cataracts be operated?
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Congenital cataracts occur in babies born with the opacified lens. Our specialist ophthalmologist explains when to operate.
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Área Oftalmológica Avanzada
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