Glaucoma in children

Glaucoma is an increase in intraocular pressure, provoking a breach of aqueous outflow from the eye and a complete atrophy of the optic nerve, which leads to gradual loss of vision. Glaucoma may be congenital or acquired disease that requires immediate treatment, as it leads to irreversible blindness.

Congenital glaucoma

Most common congenital (infantile) glaucoma, but there was still a youth (appears after 3 years), resulting from illness and injury. If the last determined to help the child, as already feels, what changes happen to his vision, congenital difficult to diagnose on your own or with the help of doctors.

Glaucoma in children

It is worth noting that congenital glaucoma in children can manifest itself immediately, but after a few years after birth, but most often it is determined up to a year. It can be primary, which is caused by improper development of the eye drainage system or secondary genetically determined or acquired, due to abnormalities in the body or the eye. There are cases when along with glaucoma are detected and other pathologies, such as heart defects, microcephaly, deafness, particularly in the eye – cataracts, aniridia, etc.

Congenital glaucoma is most often affects both eyes, but with different degree of development, and its dominant symptom is a stretching of the fibrous sheath of the eyeball. Visually eye increases more forward, which is caused by fluid retention in it. If time does not pay attention to it, the eyes can reach considerable tension, which is called “bull’s eye”. The disease progresses quickly – about 60% of children with congenital glaucoma already going blind for 2 years.

With all the horrific nuances of its development glaucoma can be simple or complex. If the light form is determined by common symptoms: changes in the cornea, pupil dilation, sluggish response to light and other disturbances, the complex form is accompanied by cataracts, opacities in the vitreous body, tears in the retina and the choroid. Complications include the correct position of the lens, a little eyeball and the cornea, the absence of the iris.

Stages and phases of development of children’s glaucoma

Stage pediatric glaucoma judged by the size of the eyeball and the cornea, the width of the pupil and the limbus, the condition of the lens and optic nerve. All these parameters are compared with age norms, to determine the degree of deviation. Based on these data set the stage glaucoma:

  • The initial one. The magnification of the eye – 1-2-mm corneal diameter of 1-2 mm, the pupil diameter of 2 mm, limb, and 1 mm anterior chamber depth of 1-2 mm In this case, the vision is within the normal;
  • Expressed. All these parameters vary in the range of 3 mm and begin to show signs of glaucoma: a sluggish reaction to light, trembling of the iris. Loss of vision at this stage is about 50 %;
  • Severe. Performance increases up to 4 mm, the cornea becomes cloudy and is detected by the ingrowth of blood vessels, reaction to light is almost there, sclera suffered. The vision at this stage is sharply reduced;
  • An absolute. Diagnosed thinning and stretching of the anterior and posterior regions of the eye, possible internal gaps, incorrect light sensation.

Eye disease glaucoma in children should be treated as early as possible to increase the chances of a child with normal vision in the future, as the disease progresses very quickly. Should stop focusing on the stages of development of glaucoma:

  • Violations of the outflow of fluid from the eyeball;
  • Raising intraocular pressure;
  • Poor circulation in the tissues of the eye;
  • The lack of oxygen and circulatory disorders in the cells;
  • Compression of the nerve fibers of the eye;
  • Malnutrition, destruction and atrophy of the optic fibers;
  • The death of the optic nerve.

It should be noted that atrophy can touch not all optic fibers and some of them simply are in a state namely parabiosis, from which they can withdraw a particular treatment. It defines good shantsami to the partial recovery of vision.

Causes of glaucoma in children

The disease may be hereditary or result from the impact of certain factors on the child in utero. Doctors have come to the opinion that there is no specific causes of glaucoma, as a rule, is a collection of some disorders and associated risk factors. Often the prerequisites for the development of eye diseases become:

  • Structural abnormalities in the eyes of the child;
  • The pathology of the endocrine, nervous and cardiovascular systems;
  • Moved the pregnant mother infectious disease. To cause glaucoma can be infected with the following viruses: toxoplasmosis, mumps, rubella, typhoid, polio, influenza, syphilis. Also adversely on the development of the baby can be affected by vitamin deficiency, poisoning food and alcohol, bad habits of the mother, hypoxia or exposure to ionizing radiation. There are cases when the cause of glaucoma was mechanical trauma to a pregnant woman.

As such risk factors, fortunately rare, glaucoma in children is not common. Moreover, in childhood a little bit easier to stop its development and timely operation, which will give a good chance for normal vision. However, not all parents know how to diagnose this disease, and will be discussed later.

Symptoms of glaucoma in children

To diagnose glaucoma will not only eye symptoms, and behavioral factors, although they can be manifested at later stages, when the vision is significantly impaired. For eye symptoms include:

  • Changes in corneal opacity, increase, expansion of the pupil;
  • Sclera acquires a bluish tint due to its extension illuminated choroid;
  • Photophobia, recurrent redness of the eye;
  • Frequent blinking, lacrimation;
  • Poor eyesight.

With the development of glaucoma behavior of the child becomes restless, decreased appetite. Infants often capricious, bad sleep, and older children may complain of pain in the eyes. However, most often the development of glaucoma in the early stages are asymptomatic, so it is very important in the first year of a child’s life to visit doctors narrow profile on a monthly basis, in order to know that the baby is healthy.

Diagnosis and treatment of pediatric glaucoma

To diagnose glaucoma by examination an ophthalmologist and his examination of medico-genetic counseling to determine the stage of the disease and its cause. Also your doctor might need a map of the pregnancy in order to identify the preconditions for the emergence of glaucoma. It is worth noting that sometimes the symptoms are similar to conjunctivitis (lacrimation and photophobia), so be sure to check the size of the cornea and intraocular pressure.

diagnostic children glaucoma

Medical therapy involves eye drops for glaucoma treatment aimed at normalizing the pressure inside the eye. However, they are not so effective to stop the disease, so the children have shown surgery to which no age contraindications, so if there are no other causes of refusal of surgical solutions and it should be done as early as possible.

The aim is to reduce pressure in the eye by increasing the outflow of fluid from it. The success of the procedure depends entirely on the age baby, the stage of glaucoma and technique of the surgeon. Duration of hospitalization, as a rule, is not more than 2 weeks. After surgery medication aimed at speeding up recovery. Also in the process of dispensary observation can be assigned to any other remedies and procedures.

If the operation did not produce the expected result or after some time, the intraocular pressure increased again, showing a second operation. It is very important to spend it as soon as possible, because children glaucoma progresses very quickly. If successful, surgical intervention the child has a good chance at a normal or satisfactory eyesight further.

Children glaucoma is not a sentence to blindness if timely diagnosed. Modern microsurgical techniques allow to cope with this disease and stop its development. However, important is the visit to the ophthalmologist in the first year of life and attention to the health of their baby.

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