What Is Congenital Glaucoma?

It’s a type of glaucoma, a group of diseases where high fluid pressure in your eye harms the optic nerve. It impacts children between birth and 3 years.

What Is Primary Congenital Glaucoma?

Primary congenital glaucoma (PCG) is a major condition that requires attention. It affects about one in every 10,000 babies. Unattended cases are a significant reason for youth blindness.

“Primary” indicates the disease doesn’t arise from another health problem or condition, like a tumor. “Congenital” suggests it’s present at birth.

Physicians normally spot it in between the ages of 3-6 months, however there may not be signs initially. It can be diagnosed as late as age 3.

If primary congenital glaucoma is discovered early, 80% to 90% of children react well to treatment. They will not have vision problems in the future.

What Does Congenital Glaucoma Do to Your Eye?

In a healthy eye, the fluid supplies proper pressure and brings in nutrients. It drains pipes through a network of cells and tissue. To replace what’s lost, your eye constantly makes more. With PCG, this process goes off track. For the most parts, the fluid doesn’t drain like it should and the accumulation makes your eye pressure rise.

PCG in baby
Childhood glaucoma – likewise described as congenital glaucoma, pediatric, or infantile glaucoma – occurs in babies and children. It is normally detected within the first year of life.

The optic nerve, at the back of your eye, sends out signals to your brain. The increased pressure that features PCG harms the fibers that make up this nerve.

With a lot of type of glaucoma, this damage happens over time. Often, when you see symptoms, the harm is already done. Once your vision is lost, you can’t get it back.

What Causes Congenital Glaucoma?

We know that if a baby’s eye cells and tissues do not grow like they need to previously birth, he can have problem with drain after he’s born. However we don’t plainly comprehend most causes at this time. Some cases are inherited, while others aren’t.

What Increases a Risk to Get Congenital Glaucoma?

It’s difficult to understand which babies will be born with it. Parents with a family history of this condition are most likely to pass primary congenital glaucoma on. If your first and 2nd child have it, later on children most likely will, too.

About two times as numerous young boys as girls are born with it. It sometimes shows up just in one eye, however most of the time, it impacts them both.

What Are the Signs of Congenital Glaucoma?

There are 3 primary symptoms of PCG. You’re most likely to see that your baby:

  1. Closes his eyelids like he’s protecting his eye
  2. Seems painfully sensitive to light
  3. Wreck a lot

Depending upon how far the disease has actually aggravated, other eye symptoms can consist of:

  • A cloudy cornea (the front layer of your eye that’s normally clear).
  • One or both eyes larger than normal.
  • Inflammation.

How Is Congenital Glaucoma Diagnosed?

Your child will need a complete eye test to detect congenital glaucoma. It isn’t easy for optometrist to examine an infant or small child’s eyes, so they normally do it in an operating space. Your child will get anesthesia (medications that assist him go to sleep) during the procedure.

The doctor will:

  • Measure his eye pressure.
  • Thoroughly analyze all parts of his eye.

The doctor will make a formal diagnosis only after he dismisses all other conditions that could have caused your child’s issues.

Primary Congenital Glaucoma Treatment

The first option is almost always surgery. Because it’s risky for young children to get anesthesia, medical professionals like to do it right after the medical diagnosis is verified. If both eyes are affected by primary congenital glaucoma, the doctor will operate on both at the same time.

If surgery can’t occur right away, the doctor might prescribe eye drops, medicine to be taken by mouth, or a mix of the two to help control fluid pressure.

Many doctors do a procedure called microsurgery. They use small tools to produce a drainage canal for the excess fluid. In some cases the doctor will implant a valve or small tube to bring fluid out of the eye.

If the usual approaches don’t work, the doctor may perform laser surgery to damage the area where fluid is produced. He may prescribe medication to assist manage eye pressure after surgery.

Could There Be Complications?

Yes. The most typical is a response to the anesthesia. Others consist of:

  • Eye pressure isn’t reduced enough.
  • Eye pressure is reduced excessive.
  • Lazy eye (amblyopia).
  • Detached retina.
  • Astigmatism (a condition that causes blurry vision).
  • Dislocated lens.

Because increased pressure can come back at any time, your child will require regular examinations throughout his life.

Reyus Mammadli (Eyexan Team Leader) / author of the article
Bachelor in biomedical and electrical apparatus and systems. For more than 20 years he has been studying methods to improve health using affordable and safe methods. Collaborates with eye care charity organization of the CCP. Specialization is a vision correction by laser surgery, including LASIK.
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Ophthalmology: Health of Your Eyes
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