What are congenital cataracts?
Congenital cataracts are an eye disease characterised by the opacity of the lens from birth. The crystalline lens is the eye’s natural lens, which focuses on objects at different distances, reflecting the light from them onto the retina so that we can see them clearly and distinctly. The transparency of the lens also ensures that we can see bright, vivid colours.
Cataracts are usually linked to ageing, since, as we grow older, the lens loses flexibility and transparency. However, in the case of congenital cataracts (which are rare), this clouding of the lens is present at birth, in one or both eyes, which prevents the baby from developing a sense of sight.
Since they cannot be prevented, we need to carry out a thorough eye examination of newborns to detect congenital cataracts as soon as possible. In fact, it is often essential to treat them in the first few weeks of life, when it is important that the baby receives adequate visual stimulation for a good development.