Specific prevention of glaucoma in children does not exist. Hereditary forms cannot be prevented. And you can reduce the risk of acquired forms by observing a healthy lifestyle. A pregnant woman should give up bad habits, treat infectious diseases in a timely manner, and protect herself from injuries.
A number of factors can cause glaucoma in children. It can be hereditary or acquired. Glaucoma is diagnosed in newborns or older children.
Causes of childhood glaucoma:
- anomalies in the development of the organ of vision;
- fetal hypoxia in the prenatal period;
- infectious pathologies carried by the mother during gestation;
- intoxication of a pregnant woman;
- vitamin A deficiency in a pregnant woman;
- smoking, alcoholism, drug addiction of a woman during gestation;
- other syndromes associated with pathologies of internal organs and systems.
Symptoms of Pediatric Pathology
Glaucoma in children has both external signs and signs that are detected only upon examination by a specialist. Infants have common manifestations, such as decreased appetite, tearfulness, and poor sleep. Older children complain of discomfort or pain in the eyeballs.
Clinical manifestations of glaucoma in children:
- dilated pupils;
- delayed pupillary reaction;
- eye enlargement;
- bluish color sclera with vascular mesh;
- enlargement of the cornea;
- hyperemia of the sclera;
- increased tearing;
- fear of the light.
Children’s examination glaucoma is manifested by an increase in IOP, changes in the fundus, and swelling of the eye tissues. Untreated pathology leads to a deterioration in visual function in children with a risk of complete blindness.
Types of glaucoma in children
Children’s glaucoma, depending on the causes and age of occurrence, is divided into the following types:
- Congenital primary. This type of glaucoma is inherited from parents or close relatives. Or it arises from the bad habits of the mother, injuries to the abdomen.
- Congenital secondary. This congenital form of the disease develops due to intrauterine injuries or diseases of the fetal eyes.
- Infantile. Diagnosed from the first months of birth to 3 years. Differences from the congenital form are the normal size and color of the eyeball, the absence of photophobia.
- Juvenile glaucoma, or juvenile. Juvenile glaucoma is diagnosed starting at the age of 3. Often, the disease does not manifest itself, so it is detected by chance during a routine examination.
Diagnostic examinations of glaucoma in children
The methods for diagnosing glaucoma in a child are the same as in adults. Only in infants, due to age, they can be problematic, so not all diagnostic measures can be performed in a clinic.
Diagnosis of the disease:
- measurement of intraocular pressure;
- eye examination in a slit lamp and with an ophthalmoscope;
- determination of the boundaries of the field of view;
- measuring the size of the eyeball and its individual structures.
If there are complications or suspicions of other eye diseases, the doctor may prescribe additional types of examinations.
Watch a video interview from a specialist in this eye disease:
Therapeutic tactics of glaucoma in children
Drug treatment of childhood eye pathology is ineffective. A sufficient amount of pressure in the eyes can be reduced only by surgery.
Types of surgical interventions:
- Laser goniotomy. The essence of the operation is the dissection of adhesions in the region of the iris-corneal angle. These measures normalize the anatomy of the anterior chamber of the eye, which leads to the stabilization of IOP.
- Sinustrabekulectomy. This operation is performed if goniotomy is ineffective or when there are severe deformations that impede the outflow of intraocular fluid. During the operation, formations that interfere with the outflow are removed.
- Iridectomy. Partial excision of the iris by surgical or laser method.
- Laser cyclophotocoagulation. Surgical allowance is the temperature effect on pathological growths. Excision of a part of the ciliary body is performed.
Diagnosis and surgical treatment of infants is carried out under general anesthesia.
After the operation, unpleasant symptoms (lacrimation, moderate redness, some discomfort) may be noted. These phenomena are temporary, will pass a maximum of 1-2 weeks after surgery.
During the recovery period, you need to carefully monitor cleanliness so that the baby does not bring the infection into the eyes. It is recommended to limit visits to public places, contact with sick people.
Eye disease with an increase in IOP, detected in childhood – glaucoma in children – causes trophic disturbances, metabolic processes in tissues. Therefore, it is important to establish a diagnosis as soon as possible and begin treatment. The longer the pathology proceeds, the higher the risk of developing changes in the fundus (excavation of the optic nerve head).