Digital Imaging versus Ophthalmoscopy for congenital cataract screening

A cataract is a cloudiness of the lens of the eye.
Cataracts are a common cause of poor vision in the elderly as a result of changes within the lens which occur with age.

However, babies can also be born with a cataract (called a congenital cataract) or develop a cataract in infancy or childhood. The earlier in life a severe cataract occurs, the more urgent it is to detect and treat to ensure that vision develops normally.

3 in every 10,000 babies in the UK are born with a cataract; the rate is double in developing countries and both eyes are affected in more than half of cases. If the cataract is severe, surgery is needed by 10 weeks of age to prevent permanent visual impairment, because this is a critical time for development of vision.

The picture shows a severe cataract, visible as a white-grey area in the pupil.