What We Should Know About Infantile Cataract

We have all heard and read that cataracts show up at an elderly age, usually in the fifth and sixth decades of life. This is not the whole story because another form of cataract, the infantile cataract, exists which is known as congenital cataract.

This disease can be transmitted to infants due to genetic factors, metabolic problems, prenatal intra-uterine infections such as measles or rubella (the most common cause), chickenpox, cytomegalovirus, herpes simplex, herpes zoster, poliomyelitis, influenza, Epstein–Barr virus, syphilis and toxoplasmosis, birth trauma or some medicines such as tetracycline antibiotics. From the ophthalmologic point of view, this condition is classified as an emergency case and measures should quickly be taken in regard with these patients.

At the physician’s discretion, a surgery may be needed to treat childhood cataract. If the surgery is not performed, there are chances of nystagmus or damage to ocular nerves, in which the incidence of visual disorders, especially blindness, is not unexpected.

A timely infantile cataract surgery ensures normal vision and normal visual system development for the baby. Some experts believe that the desirable time for treating congenital cataracts is between six weeks and three months of age. However, after reviewing the thorough medical history and performing detailed examinations, the physician will set up a treatment plan.

Unfortunately, in countries with poor medical facilities, the diagnosis of the disease and the adoption of the best treatment approach progress slowly, resulting in a significant number of cases of blindness. Fortunately, Noor Eye Super-Specialty Hospital is the pioneer in providing the best cataract treatment techniques in Iran and the Middle-East, with the help of skilled physicians.