Glaucoma is one of the incurable eye diseases that cause permanent damage to the eyes. The damage is caused by the increased pressure that is created inside the eye. It damages the optic nerve of the eye, which transmits images to the brain. An individual with normal eye pressure can also develop glaucoma which is called Normal- tension glaucoma.

 Most of the people live under the myth that glaucoma can affect only the elderly, but it can affect individuals of every age. One out of every 10,000 babies are born with glaucoma and most of them show it at a later stage of their life.

 Childhood Glaucoma

Congenital or pediatric glaucoma is one kind of glaucoma that affects the children at a very early stage of life. It can be diagnosed within the first year of life. The condition may be inherited, caused by incorrect development of the eye’s drainage system.

 Glaucoma causes serious eye damage because unlike other eye diseases person with glaucoma will not be able to get back the vision, he/ she will be permanently losing the vision. The incorrect development of the eyes draining system before birth causes glaucoma. There are two kinds of Congenital Glaucoma

Primary Childhood Glaucoma-Children born with PCG generally have enlarged eyes and corneal clouding

Secondary Childhood Glaucoma-It can be due to birth defects, eye injury or other diseases. 

Childhood glaucoma is a very serious and uncommon eye. Tracking the signs and symptoms can help in detecting it at the early stage. 

Signs And Symptoms

 Symptoms are absent in most of the cases some might show intolerance towards the light, enlarged eyes, cloudy cornea etc. The secondary symptoms include irritation, loss of appetite, and loss of vision around the edges.

 Treatment For Childhood Glaucoma

Childhood glaucoma can be treated by both medical and surgical methods. The medical method includes the use of pills and eye drops. The main purpose of this treatment is to reduce the pressure inside the eyes. This will either increase the flow of the liquid from the eyes or decrease its flow. Eye drops will lower the pressure but only for a certain period of time.

There are two main types of surgical method. Filtration surgery and laser surgery, filtration surgery involves creating a drainage canal in order to remove the excess fluid.

 Glaucoma can’t be cured but it can be controlled, early detection of it can reduce the chances of losing vision. Most of the people do not go for an eye check-up without a symptom. A complete eye- monitoring is needed every year because in case of other eye ailments the vision can come back which is not the case with glaucoma. There is an increase in need of creating awareness among the people on glaucoma.

 

-          Dr. Radhi Malar Anand, Consultant Ophthalmologist, Fortis Malar Hospital