Congenital cataracts - the problem of childhood

April 23, 2014

 congenital cataract
 Cataracts - a violation of the main feature of which is a clouding of the lens of the eye and, as a result, deterioration of vision. Congenital cataract is called a cataract, which is present in a patient since birth. Typically, this cataract diagnosed for several days or weeks after birth; If it does not, it can lead to complete loss of vision. However, in some cases, the area of ​​lens opacity are very small, and cataracts virtually no effect on vision. Congenital cataract is a fairly rare disease - it is found, according to various estimates, from 1.2 - 6 out of 10,000 patients.


Types of congenital cataract

There are two main types of congenital cataracts:

  • Unilateral cataracts Cataracts - how to solve the problem completely?  Cataracts - how to solve the problem completely?
   It affects only one eye, is very rare and is usually associated with abnormalities in the structure of the eye injuries and intrauterine infections;
  • Bilateral cataracts often hereditary or associated with any disease - in more detail about the causes of cataract, we'll talk later.


Congenital cataracts and development of the visual system

Visual system, which provides a link to the eyes of the brain continues to develop until about seven years. It is important that in this period of human eyes have seen well, that is - could receive and transmit clear images to the brain, or the visual system does not develop completely. If one eye sends a blurred image to the brain, the brain learns to ignore them, and give preference to images that gets a good eye. As a result, developing amblyopia, or "lazy eye" - a disorder in which the visual system in one eye developed much worse than the other. Amblyopia can lead to complete loss of vision in one eye.

If cataracts both eyes are affected, the visual system will develop in both of them, but this development is limited, resulting in a certain vision problems can remain in humans for life.


Causes of congenital cataract

The most common causes of congenital cataracts are intrauterine infections, metabolic disorders, and genetic disorders. Approximately one third of cases the cause of this disorder is not possible. However, it is assumed that in such cases, congenital cataract is the result of genetic mutations, some of which people can then transmit to their offspring. Approximately 23% of the congenital cataract is hereditary. If any of the close relatives of the future mother suffered congenital cataract, you should inform your doctor during pregnancy. In addition, the causes of congenital cataracts can be infections transferred by a pregnant woman, for example, rubella (most common cause), measles, chicken pox, cytomegalovirus, herpes simplex, herpes zoster Ringworm - not only infectious disease  Ringworm - not only infectious disease
 , Polio, influenza, Epstein-Barr virus, syphilis, and toxoplasmosis.



Each child is carefully examined 24-48 hours after birth, and, among other things, conduct vision test. Re-check is carried out at about six weeks of age. The vast majority of congenital cataract detected in the course of one of these surveys. If parents feel that their child sees well enough, you need as soon as possible to contact your family doctor. If you suspect a cataract child will be referred to an ophthalmologist, who will conduct a detailed eye examination. Typically, the survey used an ophthalmoscope - the device that allows you to explore the deep structure of the eye. In addition, the diagnostic process may be carried out computed tomography brain.


Treatment of congenital cataract

For the treatment of congenital cataract is almost always assigned to surgery. To prevent vision loss, or minimize it, the operation is highly recommended before a child is seventeen weeks. Most ophthalmologists prescribe surgery much earlier - ideally, until the child is two months to prevent the development of complications such as amblyopia, nystagmus, and others. The most common reason for the surgery is sometimes performed later, a glaucoma Glaucoma - a perspective possible blindness  Glaucoma - a perspective possible blindness
 Which occurs in about 10% of children with congenital cataract. Additionally, cataract early increases the probability of developing glaucoma in future.

Young children tend not implanted intraocular lens, or artificial lenses. Implantation is usually recommended only in cases where the surgical treatment of cataracts in a child older than one year. In one of the recent studies have been promising results - perhaps in the near future for children younger than one year, which revealed a congenital cataract, it can be implanted artificial lenses of a flexible material, which minimize the risk of complications. So far, however, the children after the operation a prescribed glasses or contact lenses, which partly serve as the remote lens.


Recovery after surgery

Immediately after surgery, children usually feel itchy or uncomfortable, which is why they may be more moody and irritable than usual .  Within a few days they should wear a blindfold to protect them, and reduce the likelihood of eye pathogens of various infectious diseases .  To prevent infection and inflammation in the eyes of the child should also be instilled special drops (anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory), which the doctor will prescribe .  In addition, you must exactly comply with all the doctor's recommendations on how to protect the child's eyes after the surgery, as it is to wash, avoid getting water or shampoo in the eye, and so on .  A few weeks after the surgery the child will be discharged contact lenses or glasses, which he will wear on a daily basis for many years .  When he grows up, and the formation of the optic is completely finished, it will be possible to consider the possibility of implanting an artificial lens .  However, the operation can not completely restore vision How to restore vision - help their own eyes  How to restore vision - help their own eyes
 And in most cases people into adulthood continue to wear glasses or contact lenses.



Children under the age of one year operation to remove the lens of the eye often leads to complications than is the case with other patients, so they often have to undergo examinations by an ophthalmologist. The most common complications of surgery are infection and eye retinal detachment. When symptoms such as swelling in the eye, bleeding, redness, an urgent need to seek medical help. You should also consult your doctor if you notice any signs of disturbing you - in such cases, caution is never excessive.


Forecast congenital cataract

  • After treatment, 40% of patients with unilateral congenital cataract visual acuity of 6/18 or more.
  • In 70% of patients with bilateral congenital cataracts visual acuity is 6/18 or more.

The vast majority of children who have been identified congenital cataract after treatment may develop normally and live a full life. Congenital cataracts in adults usually has no more effect on quality of life than the usual short-sightedness.

Forecast least favorable for patients with congenital cataracts in addition there are other ocular or systemic diseases.

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