Cataracts form when the clear lens within the eye becomes cloudy. Vision is affected according to the degree of severity of the cataract.
Congenital cataracts are not always hereditary and may manifest a more significant eye disease or systemic metabolic disorders.
In the weeks after a child is born, the visual pathways and nervous system undergo enormous development, and if the eyes do not receive appropriate stimulation the visual processing systems in the brain may not develop. If this occurs, the development of normal vision may not be possible. Surgery before the age of six weeks is recommended for children with significant congenital cataracts.
The eye is not removed during congenital cataract surgery and, once the cloudiness is removed, an artificial lens may be inserted. If the lens is not removed, then special contact lenses or eyeglasses will be dispensed and the parents trained in caring for them.
Cataract surgery on the newborn is a complex procedure that involves careful and specialized planning before and after the operation. Consult an ophthalmologist for further help and guidance.