Of the many congenital defects a child experiences at birth, congenital cataracts are often one that is misdiagnosed and can lead to some of the greatest complications in terms of child growth and development. Because congenital cataracts are not always easy to detect, often, the pediatrician may not realize the child is suffering from such a complication until the growth and development is impaired.
When suffering from congenital cataracts, a newborn, right at birth, will appear to have an opaque appearance to the eyes. While some opaqueness may be attributed to premature birth, normally resolving without treatment, there are those cases of opaque eyes that will require care and treatment by a pediatric ophthalmologist, often for congenital cataracts.
If your infant was born with a complication involving congenital cataracts, the pediatrician will want to run a variety of tests to rule out the presence of metabolic disorders, disorders involving chromosome complication, genetic disorder and even check for any toxicity issues that the infant may have been exposed to while en utero. Because congenital cataracts can develop in response to any of these complications, newborns are often subjected to extensive treatment and testing when cataracts are present.
Once confirmed as suffering from congenital cataracts, the pediatric ophthalmologist will need to determine to what extent treatment is required in order to alleviate the complication and prevent long term vision damage and damage to the eyes. In many cases, newborns with congenital cataracts must undergo eye surgery in which the cataract and eye lenses are removed and then replaced with implants or corrective lenses which may need to maintained by surgery for the remainder of the child’s life.
As with any congenital complication, the key to your child’s health lies in the early diagnosis and treatment of the condition. When expecting a baby, the hospital staff will most likely confirm, or rule out, the presence of any eye disorder simply based on visual inspection. However, this visual inspection, while in the labor and delivery room, may not be reliable in screening the total healthcare of your newborn.
As you follow up with your child’s pediatrician in the weeks and months following birth, be certain the pediatrician is conducting a thorough examination, including a visual check of the infant’s eyes for any evidence of opaque or cloudiness. In doing so, you may be able to correct a visual impairment, such as congenital cataracts, before the complication impairs your child’s growth and development process.