Can Children have Glaucoma??
Glaucoma is a progressive blinding disease and one of the main causes of irreversible vision loss worldwide
Although usually occurs in adults, It may presents at birth or shortly after. It may be inherited, caused by incorrect development of the eye drainage system during pregnancy.
When the pressure inside the eye increases, the optic nerve fibers are progressively affected. As the optic nerve is the link between the eye and brain to transmit images to see, when it is affected: the brain will not see the images and the patient will have many areas in his field of vision missing
How to suspect Infantile Glaucoma??
Medical Advice is a must if one of these is present:
Unusually large eye/s
Cloudy Eye/s (making the iris -the colored part of the eye- to appears dull)
Win the Battle to diagnose Glaucoma
Many tools are needed to evaluate the child – This depends on child age and cooperation
Some of these tools may be done while the child is under anesthesia
We will evaluate the following:
Size of the eye : both corneal size and axial length (elongation of the eye may occur as a result of increased pressure)
Corneal clarity grade (cloudy cornea and breaks)
Drainage through the angle of the eye (gonioscopy)
Refractive stat of the eye (nearsightedness occurs as a result of elongated eye)
Optic nerve imaging (indicated extent of damage)
For older children Oct for nerve fiber layer thickness and visual field testing are done as in adults
Control of the glaucoma often requires multiple procedures and examinations under anesthesia.
The mail goal of treatment is to lower the intraocular pressure to stop or minimize visual damage.
Although lost vision cannot be restored, it is possible to optimize each child’s remaining vision.
Equally important is to encourage your child’s independence and participation in his or her own self-care.
Medical therapy by eye drops and or oral meds is used in preparation before or as adjunctive after surgical management
Surgery is the main treatment modality for glaucoma in children
We will surgically create a drainage canal for the aqueous (fluid made by the eye) to drain out of the eye
Or a tube shunt – a device which is inserted into the front of the eye or into the vitreous cavity (back part of the eye) – is inserted so that fluid from the eye drains to a reservoir that is located underneath the conjunctiva.
Many children with pediatric glaucoma develop myopia (nearsightedness) and require glasses.
Also, amblyopia (“lazy” vision) and strabismus (misalignment of the eyes) occur more frequently and may require treatment with patching or surgery.
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