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Pediatric Cataracts

Pediatric Cataracts, Symptoms, Causes

Pediatric Cataracts Definition

A pediatric cataract, or congenital cataract, is the clouding of the lens of the eye that is present at birth. Infants with a cataract should be treated as soon as the cataract is discovered.

Pediatric Cataract Symptoms

There are a number of signs that your child may have pediatric cataracts:

  • A white spot in your child's pupil
  • A history of childhood cataracts in your family
  • Your doctor notes that your child’s eyes are not properly aligned
  • Your child has another diagnosed eye condition in which cataracts are likely to be present
  • Unusual rapid eye movements (nystagmus)
  • Your child doesn’t react to large, colorful stimuli

Cataract (Pediatric) Causes

The cause of the majority of cataracts in children is not known. The second most common cause is an abnormality in the cataract gene. The number of people born with cataracts is low — approximately 1 in 1,000, up to 1 in 10,000 children. Additional, possible causes of pediatric cataracts include:

  • Inflammation of the iris of the eye (iritis)
  • A reaction to certain drugs (i.e., steroids)
  • Birth abnormalities (syndromes)
  • Metabolic abnormalities
  • Diabetes
  • An infection during pregnancy (i.e., German measles)
  • Eye surgery complications
  • Traumatic injury