Pediatric glaucoma is a rare condition characterized by damage to the optic nerve and usually caused by elevated internal eye pressure (or "intraocular pressure"). The optic nerve is responsible for sending vision from the eye to the brain.
Infantile or congenital glaucoma may be present from birth and is caused by problems in the development of the eye’s drainage system. The elevation in intraocular pressure that results can damage the optic nerve and cause severe vision loss. Juvenile glaucoma occurs in children older than age three and is caused by other problems that can lead to increased eye pressure.
What are the symptoms of pediatric glaucoma?
Some of the most common symptoms of childhood glaucoma that our Nemours pediatric ophthalmologists look for are:
sensitivity to light
a dull-looking iris caused by clouding of the cornea
shows no improvement in 2 or 3 days if treated, or a week if untreated
has eye redness that worsens
has increasing swelling of the eyelids
complains of severe pain
experiences any change in vision
shows sensitivity to light
has ear pain (pinkeye and ear infections can happen at the same time)
Wash hands well and often, especially after touching eyes. Don't allow sharing of washcloths, towels, and pillowcases. Talk to your doctor if itchy, watery, or red eyes are a frequent problem — allergies might be the cause.
If certain household things seem to irritate the eyes, try:
dusting and vacuuming often
closing windows and doors when pollen is heavy
keeping scented or irritating chemicals (like household cleaners) to a minimum