They are responsible for around


of blindness in children

Must be operated on within the first



Operable with less than


visual acuity

What are congenital cataracts?

A congenital cataract is a clouding of the crystalline lens of the eye that is present at birth, preventing the child from seeing. Cataracts can impair vision, if they are large and completely cover the pupil (the central area of the eye, through which light enters).

They can be unilateral or bilateral and can be accompanied by other ocular abnormalities (corneal and retinal disorders) and are often hereditary.

They can also be caused by intrauterine infections, chromosomal syndromes, metabolic disorders and renal diseases. The ophthalmologist, in conjunction with the paediatrician, should always detect for these possibilities.

What causes them?

The causes of cataracts can be bilateral: an unknown cause, hereditary, metabolic or systemic diseases, maternal infection or associated ocular abnormalities. Unilateral causes can also be unknown or associated with other ocular abnormalities, trauma or infection.

How can they be prevented?

Hereditary cataracts, or those caused by other associated eye disorders, are not preventable. Eye check-ups are of great importance, since it is in the first weeks of life that children develop their visual ability. It is crucial to detect any problems early to facilitate corrective treatment.


In some cases, the paediatrician or the parents themselves detect the whitish clouding in the pupil. Sometimes, low vision brings with it strabismus (ocular deviation) or nystagmus (involuntary eye movement). If any of these symptoms appear, the child should be taken to an ophthalmologist.

Associated treatments

The first weeks of life are of great importance for visual stimulation and to prevent the development of brain mechanisms that are associated with lazy eye. Babies need to receive visual stimuli from birth in order to ensure that vision develops in the correct way. This is why rapid treatment is an important factor.


La mateixa tarda de la intervenció ja hi veia bé i encara avui, 17 anys després, segueixo sense utilitzar ulleres

Amèlia Petit


IMO Institute of Ocular Microsurgery

Josep María Lladó, 3
08035 Barcelona
Phone: (+34) 934 000 700
See map on Google Maps

By car

GPS navigator coordinates:
41º 24’ 38” N – 02º 07’ 29” E

Exit 7 of the Ronda de Dalt (mountain side). The clinic has a car park with more than 200 parking spaces.

By bus

Autobus H2: Rotonda de Bellesguard, parada 1540

Autobus 196: Josep Maria Lladó-Bellesguard, parada 3191

Autobuses H2, 123, 196: Ronda de Dalt – Bellesguard, parada 0071

IMO Madrid

C/ Valle de Pinares Llanos, 3
28035 Madrid
Phone: (+34) 910 783 783
See map in Google Maps

Public transport

Metro Lacoma (líne 7)

  • Lines 49 & 64, stop “Senda del Infante”
  • Line N21, stop “Metro Lacoma”


Patient care:
Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

IMO Andorra

Av. de les Nacions Unides, 17
AD700 Escaldes-Engordany, Andorra
Phone: (+376) 688 55 44
See map in Google Maps

IMO Manresa

C/ Carrasco i Formiguera, 33 (Baixos)
08242 – Manresa
Tel: (+34) 938 749 160
See map in Google Maps

Public transport

FGC. Line R5 & R50 direction Manresa. Station/Stop: Baixador de Manresa


Monday to Friday, 08:30 A.M – 13:30 PM / 15:00 PM – 20:00 PM

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