It is possible for babies to be born with cataracts. A cataract is the clumping of natural proteins inside the eye. In healthy eyes, the eye lenses are clear and transparent. When a baby is born with a cataract in one or both eyes, the eye
lens will be cloudy. In fact, your baby’s pupils can have a gray or cloudy appearance to them. If there is no obvious sign of cataracts, your pediatrician may suspect the condition if there is no red reflex when light is shown into the eyes.
Depending on the location and severity of the cataract, your child may not be able to see clearly out of the affected eye. This can lead to other eye development problems such as:
- Amblyopia (lazy eye)
- Stabismus (crossed eyes)
Why Would a Baby Get a Cataract?
There are many reasons why a baby could be born with a cataract:
- Family history of congenital cataracts
- Premature birth
- Infections during pregnancy such as chickenpox, herpes, rubella, HIV, syphilis and others
- Tetracycline antibiotic given during pregnancy
Treatment for Congenital Cataracts
To treat a congenital cataract, the cloudy lens must be removed and replaced with an artificial intraocular lens (IOL). This would be the same type of cataract surgery typically performed on adults. This may not be a permanent solution: as your child’s eyes continue to grow and develop, additional treatments may be necessary to help maintain clear vision.
If you are noticing any discoloration in your baby’s eyes, contact the pediatric ophthalmologists at Azul Vision. Our team is trained to diagnose this condition in the earliest stages so prompt treatment can be started. Our goal is to help children achieve their best vision for success in life. We’d be honored to care for your child, too.
Protect your child’s eyesight.
Schedule a Pediatric Eye Exam today!