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Types of Cataracts: Congenital Cataract

Congenital cataracts, as opposed to age or injury-related cataracts, do not always affect vision. If you are born with cataracts or develop them during your childhood, it could stem from a metabolic disorder, or possibly your mother contracted German measles (rubella) while pregnant. What causes cataracts is not always clear, but if they affect your vision, they will be removed as soon as possible after diagnosis.

If you suspect congenital cataracts, an ophthalmologist can perform several tests to confirm a diagnosis, including a visual acuity test, slit-lamp examination, and retinal examination through dilation. Once the cataracts begin affecting your daily life, the only effective treatment is surgery for cataract removal, which is successful in improving vision 95% of the time.

During the surgery, the clouded lens of the eye that causes vision problems is removed, and usually replaced with a clear lens implant. This is an outpatient surgery performed on one eye at a time, with a short recovery time.

Until you decide to have the surgery, there are several things you can do to help deal with the effects of congenital cataracts. First, make sure are bright and plentiful in your home, and use a magnifying glass to read. See your eye doctor regularly for the most up-to-date eyeglass or contact lens prescription. Finally, wear sunglasses outside to reduce glare and try to limit nighttime driving. When these measures cease to be effective, talk to your doctor about scheduling a low-risk cataract removal surgery.

The information supplied in this article is not to be considered as medical advice and is for educational purposes only.