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Coloboma: An eye condition before birth: Causes, Treatment, and Symptoms

Coloboma: An eye condition before birth: Causes, Treatment, and Symptoms

Human eyes are made up of various delicate parts- if one of the parts doesn't act in a proper manner, it can pave the way toward causing coloboma. In this blog, we will learn about the causes, treatment and symptoms related to coloboma. Let’s dig deeper for more information.

What Is Coloboma?

Coloboma eye is an abnormality that occurs before birth. It happens when part of the tissue that makes up the eye is missing. It can affect a single eye or both eyes. The most common and recognizable coloboma typically affects the pupil and iris of a human eye. When diagnosed with coloboma, you need to address the concern as soon as possible. Get in touch with your healthcare provider- these specialists will make sure to offer the best solutions. Combat problems like vision loss by undergoing a proper treatment.

What Are the Causes of Coloboma?

According to experts, babies get exposed to colobomas in the utero itself. Changed or abnormal genes affect a child’s eye development as well. Other environmental factors like smoking and drinking pushes the baby toward developing coloboma.

The optic fissure of the babies come together to form the eyes- it takes place two months prior to their birth. If the fissure fails to close completely, it automatically causes colobomas in the eyes.

Does Coloboma Affect Vision?

Coloboma that is affecting the iris results in a ‘keyhole pupil’, usually not leading to the loss of vision. On the other hand, colobomas involving the retina results in the loss of vision in some specific parts of the visual field.

Large retinal colobomas or those affecting the optic nerve (optic nerve coloboma), might cause low vision, meaning vision loss- it cannot be completely corrected with glasses and contact lenses.

What Are the Types of Coloboma?

There are different types of coloboma. Each type of coloboma has different effects on the eyes. Let’s check them out at a quick glance:

  • Eyelid Colobomas: If a piece of lower or upper eyelid is missing, it is referred to as eyelid colobomas.
  • Chorioretinal Colobomas: If the part of the retina is missing, it leads to chorioretinal colobomas.
  • Macular Colobomas: When the macula doesn’t develop properly, macular colobomas take place.
  • Lens Colobomas:When a lens piece is missing, you can get exposed to lens colobomas. The change in lens shape caused by a notch or dent can cause blurred vision if the lens of the eye is affected by coloboma.
  • Optic Nerve Colobomas: This type of coloboma leads to reduced vision.
  • Uveal Colobomas:The middle layer of your eye, uvea, sometimes gets missing. As a result, it leads to uvea colobomas.

What Are the Symptoms of Coloboma?

Some of the symptoms of coloboma are:

  • Low Vision
  • A cat-eye-shaped pupil or a keyhole
  • Blindness or partial vision loss
  • Sensitivity to Light
  • Nystagmus

It can typically cause:

  • Reduced peripheral vision.
  • Difficulty with depth perception.
  • A larger than usual blind spot.

How to Diagnose Coloboma?

Coloboma is diagnosed by the doctor during an eye test of the child. They look deep into the eye to identify the missing tissue. Hence, one should have regular eye tests to get hold of the different diseases that affect the child’s eyes.

Take proper care of the eyes and do the needful for clear vision of both the adults and the children.

Treatment and Prevention of Coloboma

There is no specific treatment for coloboma or the missing tissue in the child’s eye. But certain treatments might improve the vision. They are-

  • Wear corrective lenses (glasses or contact lenses)
  • Wear an eye patch to prevent a lazy eye or amblyopia
  • Low vision aids

Some people with iris colobomas can have surgery to change the appearance of their affected eye.

Genetic colobomas cannot be prevented during the time of pregnancy. However, some precautions can be taken to avoid the occurrence of colobomas. Genetic conditions are linked to certain environmental factors, including:

  • Drinking alcohol
  • Smoking or use of any tobacco products
  • Using recreational drugs
  • Consult the doctor about food habits during pregnancy

To Sign Off

If the coloboma is visible, the eye specialists will perform an eye test and diagnose the given concern. But, if the coloboma isn’t visible at all, one needs to undergo a comprehensive dilated eye exam.

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