Congenital Cataractsenparentshttps://kidshealth.org/EN/images/headers/KH_generic_header_05_2.jpgA baby with congenital cataracts has clouding in one or both eyes. Doctors do surgery to treat them.congenital cataracts, congenital, cataracts, cataract, cloudy eye, vision, eyesight, sight, vision problems, eye problems, seeing problems, white dot in eye, filmy eye, glaucoma, glasses, eyeglasses, eye glasses, contacts, contact lens, lenses, eye lens, newborn exam, ophthalmologist, ophthalmology, eye doctor, eye surgery, eye conditions, vision loss, blind, blindness, strabismus, retina, retinal detachment, lazy eye, amblyopia, chickenpox, cytomegalovirus, herpes, HIV, rubella, syphilis, toxoplasmosis10/02/201910/09/201910/09/2019Jonathan H. Salvin, MD10/01/201964bce3ca-93bc-4784-a11b-6c861d4d0723https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/congenital-cataracts.html/<h3>What Are Congenital Cataracts?</h3> <p>A cataract is the clouding of the lens of an <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/eyes.html/">eye</a>. Congenital means that it happens before birth or during a baby's first year of life. A baby with congenital cataracts has clouding in one or both eyes.</p> <h3>What Happens if a Baby Has Congenital Cataracts?</h3> <p>A baby with a cataract can't see well through the affected eye. This makes it hard for the <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/brain-nervous-system.html/">brain</a> and eyes to work together, which they must do to develop normal <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/vision.html/">sight</a> and properly control eye movements.</p> <h3>What Other Problems Can Happen?</h3> <p>Depending on the cause of a cataract and how big it is, a baby with a congenital cataract can have other eye problems, including:</p> <ul> <li>some vision loss (called "lazy eye" or <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/amblyopia.html/">amblyopia</a>)</li> <li>a rip (tear) in the light-sensitive layer in the back of the eye (retinal detachment)</li> <li>one eye that doesn't line up with the other (<a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/strabismus.html/">strabismus</a>)</li> <li>pressure buildup inside the eye that leads to damage (<a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/glaucoma.html/">glaucoma</a>)</li> </ul> <h3>What Are the Signs &amp; Symptoms of Congenital Cataracts?</h3> <p>When a baby has a congenital cataract, the center (pupil) of the eye looks gray or white instead of black. The whole pupil may look like it is covered with a film, or you might just see a spot on the pupil.</p> <h3>Who Gets Congenital Cataracts?</h3> <p>Congenital cataracts can happen in babies who:</p> <ul> <li>had an infection before or soon after birth</li> <li>have a family history of congenital cataracts</li> <li>were <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/born-early.html/">born early</a> (premature)</li> </ul> <p>The most common infections that cause congenital cataracts include:</p> <ul> <li><a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/chicken-pox.html/">chickenpox</a></li> <li><a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/cytomegalovirus.html/">cytomegalovirus</a></li> <li><a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/herpes.html/">herpes</a></li> <li><a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/hiv.html/">HIV</a></li> <li><a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/german-measles.html/">rubella</a></li> <li><a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/syphilis.html/">syphilis</a></li> <li><a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/toxoplasmosis.html/">toxoplasmosis</a></li> </ul> <p>Many babies who develop congenital cataracts don't have other medical problems.</p> <h3>How Are Congenital Cataracts Diagnosed?</h3> <p>Doctors often diagnose congenital cataracts during the <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/checkup-hospital.html/">newborn exam</a> after a baby is born. Other times, they diagnose it during a <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/checkups.html/">well-child checkup</a>, or after a parent notices one of the baby's eyes doesn't look right.</p> <p>The doctor will refer the baby to an eye surgeon (ophthalmologist) who specializes in treating children. The doctor also will check for signs of other problems that sometimes happen in babies with cataracts.</p> <h3>How Are Congenital Cataracts Treated?</h3> <p>Ophthalmologists do surgery to remove congenital cataracts. This usually happens soon after the diagnosis, as early as 6&ndash;8 weeks of age. During the procedure, the ophthalmologist removes the cloudy part of the lens and may put in a flexible plastic artificial lens.</p> <p>After the surgery, the baby usually will need to wear a contact lens or glasses to help the eye focus properly.</p> <h3>What Causes Congenital Cataracts?</h3> <p>Cataracts happen when proteins in the eye's lens change. They may change because of an infection, a change in DNA, or a chemical imbalance.</p> <h3>How Can Parents Help?</h3> <p>Kids who have had congenital cataracts removed may have other eye problems, like high pressure in the eye (glaucoma). Careful and complete follow-up is important.</p> <p>To help your child:</p> <ul class="kh_longline_list"> <li>Take your child to all well-child checkups and ophthalmologist visits.</li> <li>If your child is treated with: <ul> <li>Contact lenses: Follow the cleaning and wearing schedule. Tell your baby's doctor if you have trouble with the contact lens routine.</li> <li>Medicines (including eye drops): Give them on time, every time. Renew prescriptions before they run out. Talk to the <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/pharmacist.html/">pharmacist</a> or your doctor if you're not sure how to give a medicine.</li> </ul> </li> <li>Tell the doctor if other people in your family have (or had) cataracts. If your child's cataracts are due to a <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/about-genetics.html/">genetic</a> (DNA) condition, ask about <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/genetic-counseling.html/">genetic counseling</a> for your family and for your child, when he or she reaches adulthood.</li> </ul>Cataratas congénitasUna catarata es una opacidad en el cristalino de un ojo. Un bebé con cataratas congénitas tiene una parte opaca en uno o en ambos cristalinos. https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/es/parents/congenital-cataracts-esp.html/b86c7519-380a-40df-9cff-5978471e134f
BlindnessKids who can't see, or can't see well, learn to live without using their eyes. To learn more about visual impairment and what causes it, read our article for kids.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/kids/visual-impaired.html/a6517f0b-ab44-41ea-84c2-c8270e866793
CataractsDo you know an older person who has cataracts? Find out about this vision problem in this article for kids.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/kids/cataracts.html/b7fc5b19-de06-40c0-a1f4-358866554704
EyesAlthough your eyes are small, their structure is incredibly complex. Find out how they work in this body basics article.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/eyes.html/603f05a6-aecf-46e3-be27-6080fd9345ac
Glasses and Contact LensesSometimes the different parts of the eye don't work together the way they should. When this happens, people wear glasses or contact lenses. Find out more in this article for kids.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/kids/glasses.html/13fcf85b-32ae-4ddd-a689-361a25c43203
GlaucomaGlaucoma damages the optic nerve. The condition gets worse over time and leads to a loss of vision if not treated. https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/glaucoma.html/84bedf5e-34c4-4c59-8568-3ef1df1f2adb
PtosisPtosis is drooping of the upper eyelid. Many things can cause it.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/ptosis.html/d76462ae-98c9-43ee-a0ec-1e1ec3ceaef0
StrabismusStrabismus causes eyes to wander or cross. Treatment may include glasses, patches, eye drops, or surgery.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/strabismus.html/cbbbdb38-b30e-4efd-99fe-65598c1acdbf
Taking Care of Your VisionEven if you're lucky enough to have perfect vision, taking care of and protecting your eyes is vital to keeping your peepers perfect. Learn all about how to take care of your baby blues (or browns or greens) in this article.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/vision-care.html/25c29a93-b9b8-4350-81bf-455e1b19d57b
Visual ImpairmentWhen one or more parts of the eye or brain that are needed to process images become diseased or damaged, severe or total loss of vision can occur. Read all about visual impairment.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/visual-impairment.html/24537535-ce73-4c5a-b289-632602997457
Your Child's VisionIt's important for kids to have their eyes examined regularly, as many vision problems and eye diseases can be detected and treated early.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/vision.html/892d3a4f-f816-4903-a587-3514f79f4d68
Your EyesEver wonder how your eyes work? This article for kids takes you from the pupil to the retina and beyond.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/kids/eyes.html/41e9a218-5f21-465b-9403-85aacb77c062
Your Newborn's Hearing, Vision, and Other SensesYour newborn is taking in first sights, sounds, and smells while learning to explore the world through the senses. What are your baby's responses to light, noise, and touch?https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/sensenewborn.html/d9135684-7436-441f-940c-f50074b15494
kh:age-allAgesOrAgeAgnostickh:age-babyZeroToOnekh:clinicalDesignation-neonatologykh:clinicalDesignation-ophthalmologykh:genre-articlekh:primaryClinicalDesignation-ophthalmologyEye Conditions & Problemshttps://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/medical/eyes/48b60d4f-9a7c-4f2e-88c0-b97abca67cf0Newborn Health Conditionshttps://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/pregnancy-center/newborn-health-conditions/85832563-037d-4bcf-b68e-8877d94e4fd5