Ophthalmologist comments on congenital cataract, glaucoma

Dr Zailani Isa, the Chief Consultant Ophthalmologist, National Hospital Abuja, has advised pregnant women to always go for an antenatal check-up to avoid the risk of congenital cataract and glaucoma.

He gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Abuja.

He said proper antenatal visit, genetic studies from the conception of pregnancy and proper delivery could prevent most of the complications.

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Isa said congenital cataract and glaucoma were issues with childbirth that could lead to visual impairment and
blindness, noting that “there are many abnormalities of development that can also cause it.

“Congenital cataract refers to a lens opacity present at birth, it covers a broad spectrum of severity whereas some
lens opacities do not progress and are not visually significant, which may be unilateral or bilateral.”

He explained that congenital glaucoma could occur in babies or young children, usually diagnosed within the first
year, noting that “it is a rare condition that is inherited or an incorrect development of the eyes’ drainage system before birth.”

The ophthalmologist said congenital cataract and glaucoma could be treated through surgery and medication when the patient could tolerate anaesthesia.

He also said that prolonged labour could lead to blindness if complications arose, saying “labour should not take more than 24 hours, if prolonged, it could cause infections.”

Isa, however, acknowledged that there are people born blind and nothing can be done about it, citing
Stevie Wonder, the popular musician.

He advised regular eye check-up for both children and adults.

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