Microphthalmia is an eye abnormality that arises before birth. In this condition, one or both eyeballs are abnormally small. Microphthalmia may or may not result in significant vision loss. People with Microphthalmia may also have a condition called coloboma. Colobomas are missing pieces of tissue in structures that form the eye. They may appear as notches or gaps in the coloured part of the eye called the iris; the retina, which is the specialized light-sensitive tissue that lines the back of the eye; the blood vessel layer under the retina called the choroid; or in the optic nerves, which carry information from the eyes to the brain.
The incidence is 14 per 100,000 and the condition affects 3-11% of blind children.
What are the causes of Microphthalmia?
- Microphtalmia can also be caused by infections during pregnancy, particularly the herpes simple virus, rubella and cytomegalovirus (CMV), but the evidence is inconclusive.
- There are also genetic causes of Microphthalmia such as chromosomal abnormalities.
What are the symptoms of Microphtalmia?
- The presence of a small eye at birth.