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Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

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Cerulean cataract

Other Names for this Disease
  • Cataract, congenital, blue dot type 1
  • Cataract, congenital, cerulean type 1
  • CCA1
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Your Question

I recently had my eyes checked because I developed headaches, and I was diagnosed with blue dot cataracts. Is this a harmful condition? Is there a cure?

Our Answer

We have identified the following information that we hope you find helpful. If you still have questions, please contact us.

What are cerulean cataracts?

Cerulean cataracts are opaque areas that develop in the lens of the eye that often have a bluish or whitish color. They may be present at birth or develop in very early childhood, but may not be diagnosed until adulthood.[1] They are usually bilateral and progressive.[2] Infants can be asymptomatic, but may also be visually impaired from birth and develop nystagmus and amblyopia.[2] In adulthood, the cataracts may progress, making lens removal necessary.[1] Cerulean cataracts may be caused by mutations in several genes, including the CRYBB2, CRYGD, and MAF genes, and are inherited in an autosomal dominant manner. No treatment is known to prevent cerulean cataracts, but frequent evaluations and cataract surgery are typically required to prevent amblyopia as the opacities progress.[2]
Last updated: 4/6/2011

Are cerulean cataracts harmful?

Cerulean cataracts are generally only harmful to an affected individual's vision; however, the vision loss associated with cerulean cataracts may reduce the individual's learning abilities or quality of life, or harm the individual's emotional and social well-being. No systemic abnormalities (those affecting other parts of the body, or the body as a whole) are associated with cerulean cataracts.[2]
Last updated: 4/6/2011

How might cerulean cataracts be treated?

No treatment is known to prevent cerulean cataracts, and there is currently no cure for the condition. Frequent eye evaluations and eventual cataract surgery are typically required to prevent amblyopia (vision loss) as the opacities progress.[2] The symptoms of early cataracts may be improved with new eyeglasses, brighter lighting, anti-glare sunglasses, or magnifying lenses. However, if these measures do not help, surgery is often the only effective treatment. Surgery involves removing the cloudy lens and replacing it with an artificial lens. Surgery is often considered when vision loss regularly interferes with everyday activities, such as driving, reading, or watching TV.[3]
Last updated: 4/6/2011