Among thousands of problems that can occur in childhood, congenital cataracts are one of the main causes of childhood blindness. In many cases it is not noticed and diagnosed early, causing total blindness of the child for not receiving the appropriate treatment.
In the eyes there is a film called crystalline , which is the natural lens that protects the eyes. Any change in the lens already detected at birth or after delivery is considered a congenital cataract. As it is a serious problem that can lead to the child’s total blindness, immediate referral for surgical repair is necessary, which will prevent major problems from occurring, as is the case of total loss of vision.
Altered Eye Crystalline
The problem may occur in both eyes or only on one side, but 64% of cases arise in both eyes. It is not always possible to discover the cause of the problem, with 30% occurring due to genetic or hereditary problems .
Some health problems generated during pregnancy, such as rubella, toxoplasmosis, chickenpox, syphilis and herpes when contracted during gestation, may trigger the congenital cataract in the fetus, being diagnosed right at the time of delivery. Chromosomal problems and anomalies may also be responsible for the disorder or be generated due to eye problems such as colobomas or aniridia. The treatment is basically followed by a surgical intervention, where it must be removed or reduced so that visual obstruction occurs. The sooner it is performed, the more successful the treatment will be.
Cataracts usually occur in older people and are characteristic of the elderly due to overexposure to light, but they can occur with any age group. In children and adolescents they usually appear due to the existence of other diseases that cause congenital cataracts to develop. The problem generated is not only the opacification of the lens that is easily noticed, but the partial visual loss that occurs and that if not properly treated will cause total loss of vision. So the damage is more serious than you think, not just about aesthetics.
Divided into two groups, infantile cataracts can happen with birth which is called congenital cataracts or developed over time that is recognized as acquired cataracts. It may come on one side of the eyes or on both sides. The greater the alteration of the lens, the lower the degree of vision of the child, as it totally interferes with the vision and the image that is passed to the brain. Apparent symptoms of childhood cataracts are leukocoria , which is that white film that partially covers the eyes or may occur in more severe cases altogether. Strabismus, nystagmus and microphthalmia are also indicative of the presence of childhood cataracts.
Baby with cataract in both eyes
Treatment for childhood cataracts depends a lot on the child’s age, the stage of the cataract, the location and the degree of impaired vision. The diagnosis occurs through the eye test that happens shortly after birth and should be performed in all visits to the pediatrician, especially until completing the first year of life. The examination is performed through an ophthalmoscope inside the dark room, where a red light is directed at a distance of 20 cm in the eyes.
The absence of a reflection in the eyes indicates the existence of cataracts, which should be investigated and analyzed in more detail by an ophthalmologist who will indicate the need for repair surgery or treatment more appropriate to the case.
Children who make continuous use of medications such as corticosteroids should be regularly evaluated by ophthalmologists because they are within the guidelines for the development of glaucomas and cataracts. The sooner treatment is started, the less chance of visual impairment.
My name is Dr. Alexis Hart I am 38 years old, I am the mother of 3 beautiful children! Different ages, different phases 16 years, 12 years and 7 years. In love with motherhood since always, I found it difficult to make my dreams come true, and also some more after I was already a mother.
Since I imagined myself as a mother, in my thoughts everything seemed to be much easier and simpler than it really was, I expected to get pregnant as soon as I wished, but it wasn’t that simple. The first pregnancy was smooth, but my daughter’s birth was very troubled. Joana was born in 2002 with a weight of 2930kg and 45cm, from a very peaceful cesarean delivery but she had already been born with congenital pneumonia due to a broken bag not treated with antibiotics even before delivery.