By: Hassaan Javaid
If your newborn has been diagnosed with a congenital cataract, it means the natural eye lens is cloudy rather than clear and transparent. It eventually leads to vision impairment to the extent where you mightâ€™ve no choice but surgical removal of the natural lens.
More or less four-percent of all births around the world are diagnosed with congenital cataracts or development occurs in early stages of childhood if not during birth. While cataract surgery in Abu Dhabi can be a treatment, surgical removal isnâ€™t for all types of congenital cataracts.
When cataract occurs only at the peripheral side of the lens, removal isnâ€™t recommended because of unimpeded central vision. That being said, smaller cataracts are also considered too insignificant for the surgical procedure however, only a doctor would decide the course of treatment.
The right time for a childâ€™s cataract surgery
Opinions usually differ on performing cataract surgery on an infant most because of the risk of complications like high pressure in the eye, leading to secondary glaucoma. And if the surgery damages trabecular meshwork (fluid outflow structure) in the eye, an occurrence of high IOP is very likely. On the contrary, application of anesthesia prior to the procedure raises serious safety concerns, especially with infants.
Then again, performing surgery as soon as possible is also crucial to ensure the development of clear vision system among the infants.Paediatric experts and eye specialists believe that the optimal time for cataract surgery in Abu Dhabi following the anomaly is when the infantâ€™s ages between six weeks and three months. Once removed, correction of the eye with surgically implanted lens (intraocular lens) is extremely important else poor vision development is likely to occur.
Clouding of the natural eye lens is usually associated with aging, however, congenital cataract occurs in new-borns for various reasons such as infection, trauma, inherited tendencies, metabolic problems, inflammation or reaction against a certain drug/medicine.
For instance, treatment of infection in expectant mothers with tetracycline antibiotics mostly causes cataracts in the new-borns. It may occur among the expectant mothers if they develop certain infections such as rubella or measles, chicken poxes, influenza, syphilis, Epstein-Barr virus, herpes simplex, herpes zoster, cytomegalovirus, and toxoplasmosis.
Paediatric cataracts can be diagnosed in older babies and children under the age of five years for likewise reasons. More or less 40% cataract cases in older children are associated with traumatic events such as an unexpected blow to the eye.
Genetic/inherited and various forms of congenital cataracts follow abnormalities in the appropriate development of protein, an essential source for keeping the natural transparency of the eye lens.
- Anterior polar cataract occurs in the front part of the natural eye lens and commonly associated with the inherited/genetic traits. Such cataracts are considered too small and insignificant for surgical removal.
- Posterior polar cataract appears on the rear portion of the eye lens.
- Nuclear cataract occurs in the centre of the eye lens and a very common type of congenital cataracts.
- Cerulean cataract can be found in both eyes of the infants. Itâ€™s distinguished by tiny, blue specks in the lens hens the term â€śceruleanâ€ť. This particular cataract doesnâ€™t cause vision problems and mostly associated with genetic abnormalities.
Establish contact with the doctor immediately if any of the above symptoms appear in your child for timely treatment.