Cataracts do not just affect older adults. In some cases, children can be born with cataracts, which mean the eye’s natural lens appears cloudy instead of a normal clear lens. There are many different reasons why congenital cataracts form, including:
- Infections passed down from the mother during pregnancy
- Antibiotics given to pregnant women
- Disease, such as diabetes
- Metabolic problems
Symptoms of Congenital Cataracts
If your child has a “cloudy” or grey-looking pupil, a congenital cataract may be to blame. This condition can impede a child’s vision, especially if the cataract is in both eyes. An early eye exam by one of our pediatric ophthalmologists, Dr. Richard Freeman, Dr. Mrunalini Parvataneni, Dr. W. Keith Engel or Dr. Joyce Mundahl can detect if a cataract is present and if surgery is necessary.
Treatment for Congenital Cataracts
Congenital cataract surgery, like adult cataract surgery, involves removing the affected lens and replacing it with an Intraocular Lens (IOL). The new lens will allow the child’s vision system to develop normally and clear vision will be restored.
Not all congenital cataracts must be removed. A full eye exam will determine the best course of action.
At Northwest Eye, our team of compassionate pediatric ophthalmologists understands that having a child diagnosed with a congenital cataract can be frightening. We work hard to inform parents of their options and help set their minds at ease. Contact us today if you think your child may have a congenital cataract.