( Said by expert )
Nivedita Rai • October 11, 2022
Thousands of Children with glaucoma can live whole lives. Glaucoma – A group of eye conditions that can cause blindness. It can effectively damage nerves which is connecting the eye to the brain. It is usually due to high eye pressure. Most often the pressure is too high because the eye is able to make the fluid it needs but is unable to sufficiently drain the fluid out.
Early treatment is key and delays caused by the ongoing pandemic and lockdown has been a very big factor in the progression of Glaucoma cases in the country, which could have been prevented if treated earlier, the experts said.
Glaucoma is more common in the elderly but can develope at any age. Infants and children with glaucoma typically have different signs and symptoms than adults.
Childhood glaucoma – also referred to as congenital glaucoma, paediatric, and or infantile glaucoma – occurs in babies and young children. Glaucoma with onset after age 3 years is called juvenile glaucoma. Another way to classify glaucoma is to describe the structural abnormality or systemic condition which underlies the glaucoma.
“Childhood glaucoma is relatively rare. Primary congenital/Infantile glaucoma occurs in the general population at a rate of approximately 1 in 10,000 births. In India, the prevalence of primary congenital glaucoma (PCG) is one in 3,300 live births and it accounts for 4.2% of all childhood blindness,” Dr Nusrat Bukhari, Consultant eye surgeon, Masina Hospital, Mumbai, told IANS.
In children, common signs of glaucoma are excessive tearing, light sensitivity and a large, cloudy cornea ( the normally clear front surface of the eye) which can cause the iris (coloured part of the eye) to appear dull.
“All these symptoms are the indicators of a child having glaucoma. In such cases, the child must be taken to a hospital and treatment should begin as early as possible,” button said.
Many cases of paediatric glaucoma have no specific identifiable cause and are considered primary glaucoma. When glaucoma is caused by or associated with a specific condition or disease. It is called secondary glaucoma.
Bukhari said that paediatric glaucoma is treated by lowering the intraocular pressure (IOP) with medicine and/or surgery. Most cases of primary paediatric glaucoma are treated with surgery.