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While the eye condition known as cataracts is primarily related to middle age or older adults, in some cases this condition occurs in children either before they are born or develops during childhood. Estimates show that approximately one out of two hundred and fifty children will be born with or develop cataracts at some point during childhood. While the cataracts that infants are born with tend to be small and still allow for the development of excellent vision, some may require surgery. Treatment for congenital cataracts is very effective when performed within two months of birth; however, when they are left untreated the result can be a significant loss of vision. Causes of Cataracts in Children Cataracts that occur in infants are called congenital cataracts and are typically bilateral cataracts meaning that they are present in both eyes; however, congenital cataracts can develop later on in a child's life. While the cause is not always known, experts believe that some are inherited while others are caused by a genetic disorder. A cataract which is present in only one eye is known as a unilateral cataract and is rarely seen at birth, but typically occurs due to an injury or trauma to the eye. Another cause of cataracts in children is other medical related conditions including juvenile rheumatoid arthritis which can cause ocular inflammation. Treating Cataracts in Children When surgical removal of cataracts in infants is required, it is recommended that this be done a soon as possible and within the first few weeks of being born. The reason why these cataracts must be removed so quickly is that the part of the brain responsible for the development of vision uses images to establish visual connection and if these images are distorted, these connections will be abnormal causing another disorder which is called amblyopia that can cause blindness. The surgical procedure removes the cataracts and once completed, the vision must be corrected which can be done by using contact lenses, intraocular lenses, or glasses.

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What You Need To Know About Cataracts And Why