Twin boys born with cataracts can finally see clearly

Twin boys born with cataracts can finally see clearly
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Produced in partnership with Charlotte Eye Ear Nose & Throat Associates.

Tucker and Taylor Horne are identical twin boys with congenital cataracts.

What this means: Congenital cataracts are a rare condition that causes cloudiness of the eyes’ lenses at birth. The cause is often unknown.

The Horne family turned to Charlotte Eye Ear Nose & Throat Associates for world-class pediatric eye care in Charlotte.

  • The impact: Tucker and Taylor recently celebrated their seventh birthday and are “thriving,” says their mom.

To learn more about their story, we spoke to Tucker and Taylor’s mom, Samantha, and their ophthalmologist, Dr. Timothy Saunders.

What is the typical treatment for congenital cataracts?

Dr. Saunders: Cataracts have to be removed with surgery, and it has to be done relatively soon after birth because vision is developing rapidly in the first three months of life.

  • In other words: If cataracts go untreated in the first three months, the child may have poor vision for the rest of their life.

How were Tucker and Taylor’s cataracts diagnosed?

Samantha: At our 18-week ultrasound, the doctor told me he could see cataracts on both of the boys.

  • Here’s how: On a normal ultrasound, the eye sockets appear dark. But with cataracts, they’re white.

In this ultrasound, you can see the white circles in the skull that indicate cataracts.

Next steps: We did genetic testing to rule out any other problems, and got in touch with CEENTA right away.

  • I first saw Dr. Saunders when I was 20 weeks pregnant.

What were the first few months with the boys like?

Samantha: They had their very first surgery when they were seven weeks old.

  • They had the cataracts in their right eyes removed, and then a week later we went back for their left eyes.

And then four weeks later, they started wearing contact lenses.

My husband and I worked together to swaddle the boys and insert the contacts. Thankfully, the contacts stay in for seven days.

How has their care changed as they get older?

Samantha: We used to put them under anesthesia for their eye exams, but now they’re rock stars and can sit still and hold their eyes open.

Even better: When they were five (right before they started kindergarten) they got their first pairs of glasses.

How well can Tucker and Taylor see now?

Dr. Saunders: With glasses or contacts, they’re at about 20/30 to 20/40 vision, which is pretty good.

  • Looking ahead: Their vision has improved as they’ve gotten older and can help us fine-tune their prescriptions.

Samantha: They can read just like everybody else in their class, and they’re really into taekwondo.

What advice do you have for parents who are going through something similar?

Samantha: Just push through and don’t be so hard on yourself.

  • Here’s the deal: They are perfect little boys who were just born with cataracts.

Dr. Saunders: Be your child’s advocate, and be persistent. It will pay off and provide long-term benefits for your child.

For cataract care, allergy treatment and more, book an appointment with CEENTA online.  Learn more.

Produced in partnership with Charlotte Eye Ear Nose & Throat Associates.

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