Congenital cataract is a form of the most common type of eye defect called cataract. The disease cataract represents the opacity of the lens of the eyes. Congenital cataract if left untreated can lead to permanent loss of the vision. Though, not all the cataracts may be visually significant. If the cataract is small in size and lies in the anterior portion of the lens, it becomes insignificant. Whereas, if the patient’s opacity of vision lies in the visual axis, the disease may be hugely significant in nature and may ultimately lead to blindness.
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The congenital cataract may be mainly divided into two types, unilateral and bilateral. The unilateral cataract is rare and is generally associated with ocular abnormalities, such as posterior pole tumors, persistent hyperplastic primary vitreous, trauma or certain kinds of intrauterine infections. The bilateral cataract is hereditary in nature and may also be seen along with other diseases. Certain kinds of infection may be seen to be causing this disease, such as TORCH (toxoplasmosis, rubella, cytomegalovirus and herpes simplex).
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The patient with congenital cataract may have the following symptoms:-
- The infant is known to suffer from visual acuity.
- The ability of the eye to sense the contrast is lost completely.
- The vision of colours and ability to recognize the shadows and contours are lost completely.
There is no known prevention for this disease.
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Congenital cataract should be removed within 17 weeks of birth to permit the development of the vision. A small incision is made to insert the needle and aspire the opacity causing fluid. After surgery glasses or contact lenses may be required to completely correct the vision. Amblyopia therapy may also be used to normalize the vision of the treated eye. Patients with partial cataract may have better eyesight than the rest of the cases.
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