The most common causes of pediatric cataracts include: intrauterine infections, metabolic disorders, and genetically transmitted syndromes. Infectious diseases such as rubella, measles, chicken pox, cytomegalovirus, herpes simplex, herpes zoster, poliomyelitis, influenza, Epstein-Barr virus, syphilis, and toxoplasmosis can also be culprits. Pediatric cataracts affects children worldwide, but it is 10 times more common in developing countries than in developed nations.
The American Association of Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus indicates that small cataracts that do not affect vision do not need to be removed, though those that cause vision loss should be removed as early in life as possible. Early treatment is vital because the part of the brain that processes visual stimuli will not develop properly if a cataract causes the images to blur.