JBO - Volume 23 - Issue 1 - Visual Impairment Secondary to Congenital Cataracts: A Case Report

Appears in issue JBO - Volume 23 - Issue 1

Kehbein, Karen, OD

Background: Congenital cataracts can lead to severe effects on the development of the visual system. Resulting complications include reduced acuity, aphakic glaucoma, strabismus, and nystagmus. To allow for the best acuity, cataract surgery should be performed within the fi rst three months of life to prevent visual deprivation. This results in a decreased risk of developing strabismus and nystagmus but an increased possibility of developing glaucoma.

Case Report: A 10 year-old male presented with a chief complaint of distance and near blur for the past 10 years. He was born with congenital cataracts which were removed at three months of age. The patient’s best corrected visual acuity was reduced, and he had a constant left exotropia with latent nystagmus and aphakic glaucoma. Trabeculectomy was performed bilaterally when the patient was six years old. The patient received low vision devices and specialty contact lenses to improve his ability to perform in school. He was also closely monitored for glaucoma progression.

Conclusions: The patient’s extensive ocular history impacted his ability to perform his activities of daily living.
Medical and functional management of children with congenital cataracts is crucial to visual health as well as development.