Elevated Intraocular Pressure In Children

The eyeball has to preserve a specific level of tension, or pressure, within the eye to keep it from collapsing. A series of canals within the eye constantly drain pipes fluid to keep intraocular pressure, frequently called IOP, within this range. Children, including infants, as well as adults can develop raised intraocular pressure. Elevated pressure in the eye can cause glaucoma, damage to the optic nerve.

What Is Elevated Intraocular Pressure in Kids?

Normal Intraocular Pressure

Intraocular pressure in children is generally lower than that of adults. Under one year of age, IOP averages 8.9 mmHg, or millimeters of mercury, lead author Roberto Sampaolesi reports in “The Glaucomas: Volume 1– Pediatric Glaucomas.” The IOP in children usually increases about 0.85 mmHg each year till they reach adult levels, which need to remain under 21 mmHg.

Elevated Intraocular Pressure In Children

Types of Elevated Intraocular Pressure

Raised intraocular pressure can occur for two factors. If the canals become obstructed, drainage can’t occur and push builds up in the eye. If the eye produces more fluid than normal, fluid cannot drain pipes quick adequate and pressure within the eye rises. Glaucoma– damage to the optic nerve– can result, causing long-term vision loss. While other conditions can also cause glaucoma, raised IOP is a common cause in children and adults. Elevated IOP in children can be genetic, or present at birth, infantile, taking place between the ages of one month and two years, or juvenile, taking place after age three.

Causes of Elevated Intraocular Pressure In Children

Inherited hereditary irregularities cause many cases of congenital elevated IOP that lead to glaucoma in children. Around 1 in 10,000 children born have genetic glaucoma, the American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus reports. About one-third of congenital glaucoma cases occur because of inherited autosomal recessive genes. In autosomal recessive diseases, both parents must pass on the gene for the child to have the disease. Around 66 percent of cases of genetic disease take place due to the fact that of spontaneous anomalies during fetal advancement. Genetic syndromes, acquired diseases, cancers and injury to the eye can all cause raised IOP in children.

Elevated Intraocular Pressure In Babies: Symptoms

Symptoms of elevated IOP in children include clouding of the cornea that makes the iris– the colored part of the eye– appear dull; tearing; light of sensitivity; and having one eye bigger than the other. Children old enough to talk might suffer vision loss.


Around 60 percent of cases of genetic glaucoma are identified prior to six months of age, inning accordance with Children’s Hospital Boston. Unlike adults, who can generally work together with an eye examination, children often need anesthesia to endure the eye evaluation for glaucoma. Older children might have the ability to comply with parts of the examination in the workplace.

How Is Elevated Intraocular Pressure Treated In Children

Treatment is important to prevent long-term vision loss. Surgery and medications can decrease IOP. Surgery produces an alternative drain path for fluid. Medications can reduce fluid production. Other eye issues such as myopia, or nearsightedness, crossed eyes or lazy eye typically happen in children with elevated IOP as well as require treatment.

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