Beginner’s Guide: Introduction

Who is this guide for?

This beginner’s guide to childhood cataracts, is aimed mainly at UK parents whose child has just been diagnosed. It may be useful to older children, adults who’ve had cataracts as children themselves, friends, other family members and interested professionals. Some of the information may also be useful for people in other countries, but medical treatments and obviously education and family support systems differ; often a lot.

There is an excellent shorter, simpler guides to childhood cataracts available on the VIScotland website that you might want to read first. It gives an excellent quick introduction to childhood cataracts – especially the medical aspects of the condition.

Most parents are eager to find out more after a diagnosis, especially: how their child’s condition fits with other aspects of life; what kind of special help their child might need; and where to find help, information and advice.

Some parents are faced with the need to make a quick decision about whether or not to opt for surgery. This guide aims to provide you with the information to enable you to make informed decisions, as well as trying to answer questions like ‘will my child be able to drive?’

How to find your way around

This guide also forms a starting point for exploring the Childhood Cataract Network. Some of the links will take you to external websites which will open in a new window, some take you to other articles on this site which are more detailed, specialised and technical than the ones in the Beginner’s Guide. The other articles on the site are also listed under ‘Medical Info’, ‘Parenting Info’ and ‘Personal Stories’ in the right hand menu if you’d prefer to browse them that way.

Information on the rest of the site is arranged into articles that contain mainly factual information and have, where appropriate, been vetted by a suitable professional before they are published. There are also personal articles that are personal stories, viewpoints and reflections on lots of different aspects of childhood cataracts.

We welcome your contributions

Please send us your thoughts, comments, suggestions, experiences and anything else you’d like to write about, just email