Often encountered in infancy
Glaucoma is a disease that occurs as a result of insufficient development of the eye in the mother’s womb. In the eye that does not develop adequately, the excretion channels of the fluid produced in the eye do not work and the fluid pressure, in other words, eye pressure increase. There are many types of pediatric glaucoma, but the most common one is congenital glaucoma in infancy.
In the last months of the mother’s womb before birth, the development of the tissues related to the excretion of the fluid in the eye begins. These drainage channels formed will expel the fluid accumulated in the eye and prevent fluid accumulation.
With the problem of hole formation in the eye canals, fluid begins to accumulate in the eye. Fluid accumulation causes congenital glaucoma. Intraocular pressure rises with the accumulation of fluid in the eye. As a result of the loaded pressure, the eyes of the baby start to grow. Unlike adults, the elasticity of the sclera tissue in children is the reason for this growth. Like the extra inflation of a balloon, the eyes enlarge due to the excess fluid pressure. When the pressure decreases to normal levels with surgery, the eyes can shrink and regress to normal levels.
Sometimes this eye enlargement is known as ox eye (buphthalmus) among the people. Glaucoma is a dangerous disease that can cause vision loss when left untreated.
Eye enlargement, sensitivity to light are the main symptoms
Symptoms of congenital glaucoma in infants include excessive watering of the eyes, incontinence due to light sensitivity in infants and tightly closing their eyes, and redness in the eyes. Congenital babies with congenital glaucoma are restless, unhappy, constantly crying and underfed babies.
The cornea, which is the transparent layer of the eye, may look opaque in opaque white. In addition, the cornea diameter has increased. Recognition of these symptoms by the mother and father is of great importance for diagnosis. When it is noticed, a specialist should be consulted.
Surgery is required as soon as possible after the final diagnosis is made in the treatment of congenital glaucoma. Although the blood pressure is tried to be lowered with drops until surgery is performed, the main treatment is surgery. During the operation, non-developing eye canals are opened and fluid excretion is provided. In the healing process, the healthy eye should be closed and the operated eye should be operated.
Eye drops may need to be used when necessary to support the treatment process. Eye drops do not cure congenital glaucoma on their own, but support the healing process.
Early recognition of the disease is important in congenital glaucoma. The sooner the treatment process starts, the healthier the result will be. Since glaucoma is a disease with a risk of recurrence, even if it is treated, a doctor should be checked at short intervals. These controls should continue for amblyopia, strabismus and myopia that may be seen in the later stages of the disease.