Cataracts

A cataract is a clouding of the eye’s lens that can cause vision problems, the lens is made mostly of water and protein. The protein is arranged to let light pass through and focus on the retina. Sometimes protein clumps together, and clouds small parts of the lens, blocking light from reaching the retina and interfering with vision. This is a cataract.

In the early stages, stronger lighting and glasses may lessen vision problems caused by cataracts. At a certain point, however, surgery may be needed to improve vision. Today, cataract surgery is safe and very effective. Cataracts in children are rare, it is estimated that 200 children a year are born in the UK with cataracts. This is called congenital cataracts.

The lens is the part of the eye that helps focus light on the retina. The retina is the eye’s light sensitive layer that sends visual signals to the brain. The lens is made up mainly of water and protein. If the lens is effected by a cataract then when the light passes through the lens the image becomes blurred. Cataracts can form at any age and they can develop in one or both eyes and it can often effect one eye more than another.

What are the symptoms of Congenital Cataracts?

  • Cloudy or blurry vision
  • Problems with light. These can include headlights that seem too bright at night; glare from lamps or very bright sunlight; or a halo around lights
  • Colours that seem faded.
  • Poor night vision.
  • Double or multiple vision (this symptom often goes away as the cataract grows).
  • Frequent changes in your glasses or contact lenses.

  • What are the causes of Congenital Cataracts?

  • In most cases of congenital cataracts there is no family history.
  • In a lot of cases the cause is unknown.
  • There are some links to cataracts caused by genetics or infection during pregnancy.
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