GLAUCOMA CAN AFFECT CHILDREN

Dr. Jim Martin 01/20/2016

child_eye_exam.jpgWhile glaucoma most often occurs in adults, it can affect children, too. Though it's rare in children, glaucoma is nonetheless a significant cause of blindness in childhood. The key to successful prevention and preservation is early diagnosis and treatment.

Types Of Childhood Glaucoma
1. Congenital Glaucoma

This type of glaucoma, also known as infantile glaucoma, occurs in one in every 10,000 births in the United States. It's typically diagnosed in the first year of life, and is caused by disease related to an abnormal increase in intraocular pressure. There are two types of glaucoma under this category:

Primary congenital glaucoma - Resulting from the abnormal development of the ocular drainage system, approximately 10 percent of these glaucomas are present at birth, while 80 percent are diagnosed during the child's first year of life.

  • Secondary congenital glaucoma - Resulting from disorders from the body or eye, it may or may not be genetic. It's vital that parents also recognize the symptoms of congenital glaucoma:
  • Excessive tearing
    Excessive blinking
    Poor vision
    Light sensitivity
  • Additionally, the increased pressure can cause the eyeball itself to enlarge, and clouding is often present, as well.
    2. Juvenile Glaucoma
    This type of glaucoma can occur at any time during childhood. Older children, however, will be better able to describe their discomfort and symptoms. Those symptoms include:
  • Light sensitivity
  • Loss of vision
  • Difficulty adjusting to the dark
  • Eye pain
  • Head pain
  • Excessive blinking/squeezing of the eyelids.
  • Persistent red eyes

Treatment



Parents play a vital role in the treatment of childhood glaucoma because their diligence will lead to early diagnosis and the prevention of vision loss. If your child exhibits any of the symptoms listed above, take him or her immediately to their eye doctor.
Medical Treatments
This type of treatment may use both eye drops and oral medications. Treatments like these may either increase the exit of fluid from the eye or decrease the production of fluid within the eye. The end result in either case is lower eye pressure.
Surgical Treatment

Filtering surgery and laser surgery are the two main types of surgical treatment. Filtering surgery involves using small surgical tools to create a drainage canal in the eye. Laser surgery uses a powerful beam of light to create a small opening in the eye tissue.

Make an appointment for your child at Broome Optical in Amarillo today.

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