My baby/child has congenital cataracts, what are they and what can I expect to happen?

Congenital cataracts are cataracts which babies are born with or children develop at a very early age.

A congenital cataract, just like a normal cataract is a clouding of the clear and transparent lens inside the eye. If the obstetrician or hospital doctor suspects that a child has a congenital cataract, they will arrange a full examination of the eye and lens. An ophthalmologist (eye doctor) will carry out this examination at the hospital.

Some cataracts do not cause visual problems and surgery may not be needed, meaning your child may just have regular appointments to monitor their eyes. If the cataract does affect vision, surgery will usually be considered to remove the affected lens from the eye.

Further information including treatments, possible complications and what to look out for can be found on RNIB's Congenital cataracts web page.

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