Pregnancy is the most sacred time for optimal child development. Therefore, it is not an easy matter for parents to be aware of the fact that their babies are born disabled. One of the most common congenital defects found in newborns is eye and vision defects. What are those?
The most common types of congenital eye defects
1. Congenital cataracts
During this time you might think that cataracts only occur in people who are old. However, it turns out that newborns can also suffer from cataracts. Cataracts that occur from birth are called congenital cataracts.
The symptoms are similar to cataracts in adults, namely the cloudy eyepiece that looks like there is a grayish stain on the baby's pupils. The eyepiece serves to focus the light entering the eye towards the retina, so that the eye can capture images clearly. But if cataracts occur, the light that enters the eye becomes scattered when passing through a cloudy lens, so that the image received by the eye becomes blurred and blurry.
In addition, cataracts in infants can be seen from the response of their eyes. Little ones may become insensitive to the environment. For example, the baby does not turn when someone is beside him, or the baby's eye movements are unusual.
Congenital cataracts are usually caused by:
- Intrauterine infection (infection of the mother that transmits to the fetus), such as TORCH infection - toxoplasma, rubella, cytomegalovirus, and herpes simplex.
- Metabolic disorders.
- Other congenital defects, such as Down syndrome.
Although not all cases of congenital cataracts can interfere with a baby's vision, some cases can get worse and cause early blindness. The problem is, often congenital cataracts are not detected until after several months of the baby's life.
2. Congenital glaucoma
Glaucoma is damage to the eye nerve which causes visual impairment and blindness. Generally glaucoma is caused by high pressure in the eyeball.
Glaucoma is more common in older people. But this condition can be a congenital eye defect due to genetic abnormalities, eye structure abnormalities (such as iris and /or eye cornea that are not formed optimally in the womb), to become a symptom of other birth defects like Down syndrome and Edwards syndrome. >
Symptoms of congenital glaucoma can be detected from a baby's eyes that are often runny, very sensitive to light, and eyelids that often twitch.
Retinoblastoma is the most common eye cancer in children. This cancer comes from retinal cells that are still young or referred to as retinoblasts. Although this cancer is a genetic disorder, 95% of retinoblastoma patients have no family history of cancer.
The most common sign is the cat's eye reflex or leukocoria, which is the back of the eye pupil reflecting bright light if the light is flashed. This symptom appears in 56.1% of children born with retinoblastoma. In addition, retinoblastoma can also cause eye squint (strabismus). This is caused by visual disturbances that occur in children.
4. Retinopathy of Prematurity
Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP) is a congenital eye defect caused by impaired retinal blood vessel formation. This condition tends to be found in premature babies.
The retinal blood vessels of the new fetus begin to form at 16 weeks' gestation and will only reach all parts of the retina at the age of 1 month after birth. In premature babies, there is a disruption of blood vessel formation that can cause some of the retina to not get enough oxygen, until eventually it breaks down.
5. Congenital Dacryocystocele
Congenital dacryocystocele is a congenital eye defect that occurs as a result of a blockage in the nasolacrimal duct, the channel that drains tears into the nose. The channel functions to drain the tears so as not to cause the eyes to continue to runny under normal conditions.
The presence of blockages in this channel can cause tears to accumulate excessively in it, forming a bag. If this channel is infected, it is referred to as darcyocystitis.
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