What causes cataracts in infants?

How does a baby get cataracts?

Congenital cataracts can occur in newborn babies for many reasons, including inherited tendencies, infection, metabolic problems, diabetes, trauma, inflammation or drug reactions. As an example, tetracycline antibiotics used to treat infections in pregnant women have been shown to cause cataracts in newborn babies.

How are cataracts treated in babies?

The only treatment for cataracts is surgery to remove them. If your child’s cataract is small and doesn’t affect their vision, it may not need to be removed. If it does affect their eyesight, it should be removed as soon as possible. Otherwise their vision can be affected in the long term.

What happens if a baby is born with cataracts?

In children, cataracts can affect 1 or both eyes. Cloudy patches in the lens can sometimes get bigger and more can develop, resulting in the child’s vision becoming increasingly affected. As well as poor vision, cataracts can also cause “wobbling eyes” and a squint, where the eyes point in different directions.

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What causes cataracts at an early age?

Cataracts in Youth and Young Adults

Common causes of early onset cataracts (below age 40) include having poorly-controlled medical conditions like hypertension, eczema and diabetes, chronic use of steroid medications, previous eye trauma, and family history of early onset cataracts.

Can cataracts go away on their own?

While some cataracts may stop progressing, they will never go away on their own. In many patients, they will continue to grow and can cause blindness. While cataracts aren’t reversible, some surgeries can remove them and place an intraocular lens in its place to improve vision for patients in San Antonio, TX.

How can you tell if a baby has cataracts?

If your baby or child is very young, they will not be able to complain about symptoms. If you notice a white or gray spot on your child’s pupil, it could be a cataract. Try shining a flashlight into your child’s eyes. A cataract sometimes causes the pupils to appear white.

What should newborn eyes look like?

At birth, a newborn’s eyesight is between 20/200 and 20/400. Their eyes are sensitive to bright light, so they’re more likely to open their eyes in low light. Don’t worry if your baby’s eyes sometimes cross or drift outward (go “wall-eyed”). This is normal until your baby’s vision improves and eye muscles strengthen.

How do you know if your baby has eye problems?

Signs of Vision Problems in Toddlers and Children

  • Squinting more than usual or during times that don’t warrant squinting.
  • Frequent eye rubbing.
  • Sensitivity to light.
  • Eye focusing problems.
  • Eye tracking problems (the ability to follow an object with the eyes)
  • Tilting their head to see something better.
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Is congenital cataract curable?

If congenital cataracts are mild and do not affect vision, they may not need to be treated, especially if they are in both eyes. Moderate to severe cataracts that affect vision, or a cataract that is in only 1 eye, will need to be treated with cataract removal surgery.

Can you cure blindness from birth?

Congenital blindness is a hereditary disease and can be cured by gene therapy. Visual loss in children or infant can occur either at the stage of prenatal (during the time of conception or intrauterine period) or postnatal stage (during birth).

Why do babies eyes look cloudy?

If your baby’s eye looks cloudy, it could be a sign they have cataracts. An important part of the check is looking for the “red reflex” using a bright light. The red reflex is a reflection from the back of the eye that’s similar to the red eye effect sometimes seen in flash photography.

At what age do you start getting cataracts?

Cataracts typically begin developing in people age 40 years and older but don’t usually begin to impair vision until after age 60. However, younger people can develop cataracts, too.

What do early-stage cataracts look like?

The symptoms of early-stage cataracts include mild eye blurriness and cloudiness, early sensitivity to light and glare, and an ever-increasing eye strain. Sudden headaches, seeing flashes of lights, sudden vision changes, and double vision could also be symptoms of early to immature stages of cataracts.