Dr Starte talks Congenital Cataract

Congenital Cataract

Cataract is the leading cause of preventable blindness worldwide. Most commonly, cataracts affect older adults, but did you know that cataract can also be found in babies?

We recently observed Cataract Awareness month in June and while many people understand cataract as part of the normal aging process, the fact that cataract can affect babies appears to be less widely known. We thought it would be a good idea to sit down with an expert in this field to share some facts about congenital cataracts.

We are so fortunate to have Dr Julia Starte as part of our team of ophthalmologists at Sydney Ophthalmic Specialists. Dr Starte specialises in paediatric ophthalmology, strabismus and adult cataract. Dr Starte has pursued advanced training in the treatment of eye disease in premature babies and is currently a consultant for the neonatal intensive care unit at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital. She is also appointed as a consultant ophthalmologist at the Children’s Hospital Westmead.

Cataracts are a clouding of the normally clear lens of the eye. A cataract interferes with vision because it obstructs the lens of the eye through which light passes, causing light to refract differently than in a healthy eye.

Congenital cataracts often occur because of abnormal lens development during pregnancy. Cataracts can result from genetic or eye structural problems, they can run in families, be caused by infections, or they can occur spontaneously without a known cause.

One big factor when it comes to congenital cataracts, is being able to provide families of newly diagnosed babies with adequate support. This is where Cataract Kids Australia comes in.

Cataract Kids Australia is an Australian charity designed to support children with cataracts and also provide support to the families of these children. “Families of babies and children whose vision is affected by cataracts face many challenges. They may feel isolated and unsupported, have difficulty in accessing appropriate care, and find the practicalities of managing their child’s condition overwhelming.  Cataract Kids Australia was founded by parents concerned about the impacts of these challenges on other families.”

You can listen to the interview with Dr Starte below:

JulEYE – Eye Health Awareness Campaign: Cataracts