There are a few types of cataracts, and one of these types is congenital. In most cases, cataracts are developed as people age, but congenital cataracts usually show up in newborn babies. They may also appear in older children, though in many cases, the cataract has been present since birth and was just too small to be noticed. Find out more about congenital cataracts.
How Do Newborns Develop Cataracts?
Many people are surprised to find that cataracts can develop in newborn babies, but there are various reasons that this can indeed happen. The following are some reasons for congenital cataracts in babies:
- Metabolic conditions
- Negative reaction to certain medications
- Trauma to the eye
Of course, in cases where a baby is born with cataracts, they developed while the mother was pregnant and developed an infection. The following are some infections in the mother than can cause the baby to get congenital cataracts before birth:
- Herpes simplex or zoster
Cataracts in Older Children
Children are not expected to get cataracts any more than babies, which is why many people are interested in the main reasons for it. In many cases, when this condition is found in children, it is simply because they had congenital cataracts at birth but were never diagnosed and treated.
However, many children with cataracts simply get it after trauma, such as being hit in the eye. Since this can affect their vision, and even their appearance, it is crucial that it be treated as soon as possible. Surgery can be performed on both infants and children, but it is not always considered safe to place an artificial lens in their eye. Therefore, in some cases of young people with congenital cataracts, the damaged lens is taken out, and either contacts or glasses are prescribed instead of an artificial lens.