Encyclopedia of Ophthalmology

Living Edition
| Editors: Ursula Schmidt-Erfurth, Thomas Kohnen

Cataract, Causes and Treatment

Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-35951-4_414-3


Cataract is an opacification (clouding) of the crystalline human lens which can affect retinal image formation.


Due to the multiplicity of possible causes and phenotypes the disease can be classified in several ways. A basic distinction can be made between congenital and acquired (e.g., senile, traumatic or uveitic, or glaucomatous) cataract.

Congenital cataract is an opacification of the lens which is already present at birth or manifests itself during the first year of life (Kuhli-Hattenbach et al. 2008). Possible causes are intrauterine infections, metabolic diseases, and a large variety of syndromes. The intrauterine infectious diseases most frequently responsible for a congenital cataract are rubella, measles, herpes simplex, varicella, Epstein-Barr virus, influenza, Syphilis, and Toxoplasmosis. Frequent genetic causes are familiar congenital cataract, galactosemia, Down’s syndrome, trisomia 13, or Lowe’s syndrome. The phenotype of the lenticular opacification...

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  1. Kuhli-Hattenbach C, Luchtenberg M, Kohnen T, Hattenbach LO (2008) Risk factors for complications after congenital cataract surgery without intraocular lens implantation in the first 18 months of life. Am J Ophthalmol 146:1–7CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Sayegh RR, Floyd RP, Ghanem RC, Azar DT (2008) Principles and practice of ophthalmology. Saunders Elsevier, PhiladelphiaGoogle Scholar
  3. Sparrow JM, Brown NA, Bron AJ (1993) Estimation of the thickness of the crystalline lens from on-axis and off-axis Scheimpflug photographs. Ophthalmic Physiol Opt 13:291CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Klinik für AugenheilkundeKlinikum Bad HersfeldBad HersfeldGermany
  2. 2.Department of OphthalmologyGoethe-Universität Frankfurt/MainFrankfurt/MainGermany