Childhood cataract cases growing in Maharashtra
The cases of childhood cataracts are on a rise in the state of Maharashtra.
The increase in the number indicates that vision problems that normally occur in old age are now becoming common in young people.
In cataract, cloud forms over retina that blocks vision.
Maharashtra started keeping record of childhood cataracts cases in 2014-15 under the National Programme for Control of Blindness.
In 2014-15, the number of cataract surgeries among children was 196.
The number rose to 1,660 in 2015-16 and to 2,532 in 2016-17, an increase of 52.5 per cent within a year.
In 2017, till date 213 cataract surgeries have been performed on children in Maharashtra.
Malnutrition causes Cataract in children
As per experts, the main cause of cataract in children is malnutrition, meaning insufficient diet.
Malnutrition can also lead to cataract in babies even before birth if the mother is not getting proper diet during pregnancy.
In children, vision-related brain development happens within months of birth and it becomes vital to remove cataract.