There are several types of congenital eye defects that can occur in the fetus. Some babies born with this condition usually do not have serious eye problems. However, in certain cases, congenital eye defects can also cause vision problems in babies.
Congenital defects or congenital abnormalities are diseases caused by disorders of the formation of organs or tissues of the fetus, so that he is born with impaired shape or function of certain organs. One of the organs that can experience congenital defects is the eye.
Congenital eye defects in babies can be caused by various factors, ranging from genetic disorders, exposure to radiation or certain chemicals while in the womb, the mother’s unhealthy lifestyle, side effects of drugs consumed by the mother, to certain diseases suffered by the mother. .
Types of Congenital Eye Defects in Newborns
Although congenital eye defects are relatively rare, this condition still needs to be watched out for because it has the potential to interfere with vision. Here are the types of congenital eye defects in newborns that you need to know about:
1. Congenital Cataract
Congenital cataract is a congenital eye defect that causes clouding of the lens of the eye in infants. This congenital eye disease can block light entering the baby’s eyes, so that the baby’s vision becomes blurry. This condition can occur in only one eye or both eyes of the baby.
However, not all congenital cataracts can interfere with the baby’s vision. This condition generally only causes vision problems if it is severe.
However, mild congenital cataracts can also get worse and cause blindness if not treated.
2. Congenital Glaucoma
Congenital glaucoma is a congenital eye defect in infants that occurs when the baby’s eye nerves are damaged and swollen due to increased pressure in the eyeball.
Babies born with this congenital eye defect usually experience symptoms such as watery eyes, swollen eyes, cloudy corneas, and babies often closing their eyes because they are sensitive to light.
This hereditary disease can make the baby have visual impairment. If not treated immediately, this condition can cause blindness in the baby.
To treat this congenital eye defect, doctors can perform surgery on the baby’s eye. However, if surgery can’t be done immediately, the doctor can give the baby eye drops or oral medication to reduce the pressure on the eyeballs.
3. Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP)
Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) is an eye disorder that is often experienced by premature babies. The lower the baby’s weight at birth or the earlier the baby is born, the higher the risk of developing ROP.
This condition has the potential to make the baby’s retina develop abnormally, so that its function is disrupted and causes vision problems or even blindness.
Treatment for ROP depends on the severity. In ROP that is still relatively mild, treatment may not be needed because this condition can get better on its own.
However, if the ROP suffered by the baby is already severe, the appropriate treatment is surgery. Several methods that can be used to treat severe ROP are laser surgery and frozen surgery or cryotherapy.
4. Congenital dacryocystocele
Congenital dacryocystocele is a congenital eye defect that occurs due to blockage of the tear glands. This condition causes a buildup of tears in the tear ducts which over time will form a pocket around the tear gland.
Eye disease in this baby will usually improve on its own and does not require special treatment. However, if inflammation or infection occurs in the eye, this condition needs to be treated by a doctor.
To treat dacrocystocele infected, the doctor can prescribe antibiotics for the baby. However, if it does not improve or gets worse, doctors will usually treat this condition with surgery.
Crossed eyes in newborns are usually normal and nothing to worry about. By the age of 4-6 months, the baby’s eyes should begin to focus on an object and no longer look crossed.
However, if the baby’s eyes still look crossed after they are over 6 months old, it could be that the crossed eyes are caused by a congenital eye defect. Crossed eyes in babies can be caused by genetic factors and abnormalities in the nerves or eye muscles that make the baby’s eye position look misaligned.
Crossed eyes in infants is a type of congenital eye defect that needs to be treated surgically.
6. Anophthalmia and microphthalmia
Anophthalmia is a congenital eye defect when a baby is born without one or both eyeballs. Meanwhile, microphthalmia is an eye development disorder that makes one or both of the baby’s eyes abnormally large or very small.
Babies with microphthalmia may still be able to see even if their vision is limited.
Until now there has been no special treatment that can be done to overcome these two types of congenital eye defects. However, cosmetic surgery procedures or the installation of a prosthetic eyeball can be performed to improve the shape of the eye socket, as well as support the development of the baby’s facial bones.
Coloboma is a congenital eye defect that occurs due to the lack of formation of eye tissue or around the eye. Babies born with coloboma may lose certain parts of the eye, such as the iris, lens, cornea, eyelid, optic nerve, or retina.
Treatment that can be done to overcome this complaint varies, depending on which part of the eye is missing and its severity.
If it is severe or interferes with vision, the doctor can treat the coloboma with surgery or suggest the use of assistive devices, such as eye lenses or special glasses, later when the baby is older.
The various types of congenital eye defects that have been mentioned above should not be underestimated. If the baby has a congenital eye defect, this condition should be immediately examined by an ophthalmologist so that it can be treated early.
To reduce the risk of congenital eye defects in babies, it is also important for pregnant women to have regular prenatal visits to the obstetrician, especially if there is a history of congenital eye disease or congenital eye disease in the family.