Delhi Eye Care

Can Glaucoma affect children?

When thought  of glaucoma, almost every individual will name it as a progressive age disorder that proceeds by showing hardly any symptoms. But did you that glaucoma has the potential to affect children too?

Although rare, but glaucoma affecting babies and young children are called congenital glaucoma or infantile glaucoma.

Pediatric glaucoma advances very aggressively, unlike adult glaucoma. The two types of childhood glaucoma are;

  • Primary Congenital Glaucoma-
  • This accounts for around 50% to 70% of infantile glaucoma. That is, it affects approximately 1 in every 10000 children.

    About 18% of childhood blindness results when primary congenital glaucoma is left untreated.

    Primary congenital glaucoma, as the name suggests, occurs from not any secondary reason, and it is present congenitally from birth.

  • Secondary Pediatric Glaucoma-
  • This may occur as an incident of previous injuries, congenital cataracts, surgeries, or any other ocular condition.

    Children having these problems develop a higher risk of acquiring glaucoma.

    Signs and symptoms of pediatric glaucoma-

    Most common symptom of congenital Glaucoma are excessive watering, light sensitivity and abnormally large cloudy cornea. Juvenile onset glaucoma, however, like in adults, can develop without any obvious symptoms. On examination, high intraocular pressure and optic nerve cupping can be noted by the doctor.

    Treatment of pediatric glaucoma-

    Depending upon a host of factors like the child’s age, type of glaucoma, and other considerations, the doctor will determine the best-suited treatment for the child.

    The treatment may be either taking appropriate medication and eye drops or undergoing an eye surgery. Most cases of primary congenital Glaucoma are treated with surgery. One or more medications may be needed even after surgery to achieve the required eye pressure. Many children with congenital Glaucoma may develop myopia, amblyopia or strabismus and may required further therapy. Remember that despite timely and aggressive treatment, paediatric glaucoma can still cause significant vision loss so one must need to visit the doctor periodically. It is an intense eye disorder and needs to be taken care of with utmost caution.

    If you have always wondered that being young, you are safe from a few problems, then it is time to rethink.

    Any disease can affect any individual, depending upon a plethora of factors. What is in our hands is to take care of ourselves to abate a future or an existing problem. After all, the cure is always in our sight!

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