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Many people never associate glaucoma with children, but children definitely develop it. It happens for children much the same way it can happen for adults. Understanding what to look out for can help you save your child from pediatric glaucoma before the problem grows too large to deal with.
Pediatric Glaucoma: Congenital, Infantile, and Juvenile
Glaucoma in children can develop at any age. Typically, pediatric glaucoma is broken down into three categories.
Congenital glaucoma – This is when glaucoma is present at birth.
Infantile glaucoma – When the glaucoma develops within the first two years.
Juvenile glaucoma – When the glaucoma develops any time after the first three years.
One important thing to note is that glaucoma isn't one disease. It's a family of eye conditions. In general, glaucoma is when there's so much pressure built up in the eye that it starts to damage the optic nerve. The cause of the pressure is usually from an inability to drain the fluids the eye creates.
The underlying reasons for the eyes' inability to drain that fluid can vary. That's why it's not safe to assume that pediatric glaucoma works in any specific way. There are many types of glaucoma and various treatments depending on the type.
What You Should Look Out For
Unlike adults, children cannot adequately express certain feelings of discomfort. It's up to you to look out for signs of eye problems. This is especially true for infants. Signs of congenital or infantile glaucoma can include the following:
Signs of juvenile glaucoma occur much like they do for adults. These symptoms can include,
With juveniles, it's also possible for glaucoma to develop with no obvious symptoms at all.
In addition, these signs do not always indicate glaucoma. They can also indicate some other eye condition. However, it doesn't matter, as other eye conditions can eventually lead to glaucoma.
What You Can Do About It
Your only real option is to take your child in for an eye examination with your pediatrician, an optometrist, or an ophthalmologist, such as Leader Heights Eye Center. This is something that you should do anyway, so you don't have to wait until symptoms develop.
Early detection is important, especially if there's a secondary eye problem that can lead to glaucoma. Usually, the earlier the detection, the less invasive the means of dealing with it. So stay alert and pay attention to any eye discomfort or abnormalities. Don't let issues linger or assume they will go away on their own.Share
29 September 2015