Congenital glaucoma in children causes

The occurrence of glaucoma in children is not a frequent occurrence. This congenital problem with the eyes occurs in 1 child per 10,000. As a rule, it is diagnosed in the first year of life and is called infantile.

  • Congenital glaucoma in children is that it is
  • Symptoms and signs
  • Causes of the disease
  • Diagnostics
  • How to treat congenital glaucoma in children
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The onset of glaucoma at later periods is usually not associated with congenital pathology, although there are exceptions. It has an acquired character, for example, due to trauma and is called childish.

Congenital glaucoma in children is that it is

A born child with congenital glaucoma has large expressive eyes. And when measuring the intraocular pressure, its anomalous increase is detected.

In newborns, glaucoma is diagnosed in 10 percent of children who have this pathology, and during the year 80% of parents or pediatricians diagnose it with severe symptoms.

Important!If untimely started treatment of glaucoma, it can lead to complete blindness. It is noted that from 7 to 15% of children who did not have this disease in time and did not receive treatment, vision is completely lost.

Symptoms and signs

In 75% of cases, congenital glaucoma is observed in two eyes of the child, but the degree of its progression is not necessarily the same. It can appear already in the first hours or days after birth. Sometimes this eye disease is diagnosed after a few years. Main features:

  • enlarged eyeballs;
  • rapid blinking;
  • deteriorating eyesight;
  • photophobia, which can lead to blepharospasm;
  • lacrimation.

Often, with this congenital pathology, there are other violations of intrauterine development - heart disease, microcephaly, deafness, and in the eyes can be diagnosed with cataracts or other serious diseases.

If congenital glaucoma is not complicated by other pathologies of the eye, then it is limited to such symptoms as:

  • an increase in the eyeball, due to the dilatation of the shell of the eye, the widening of the pupil area;
  • Inadequate response of the eye to light, while the sclera acquires a blue tinge, and periodically the redness of the eyeball occurs.

In the complicated course of the disease, these symptoms can be joined by:

  • cataract of the eye;
  • opacity of the vitreous humor;
  • vascular rupture in the retina;
  • retinal detachment.

Sometimes the manifestations of this disease can have a different character: the decrease of the eyeball, the non-standard position of the lens, the pupil lacks an iris.

With the progression of the disease the child becomes restless, capricious, refuses to eat, restlessly asleep. Older children indicate pain in the eyes. But, at the initial stages, this process can proceed without significant symptoms.

Therefore it is important to periodically visit a pediatric ophthalmologist in order not to miss the onset of the disease. Without treatment, glaucoma in 60% of children leads to complete blindness by the age of two.

Causes of the disease

The main reason for the progression of glaucoma is an insufficient outflow of fluid due to abnormalities in the development of drainage systems of the eye. As a consequence, the eye cornea increases in volume and its turbidity sets in.

Such pathology of development can have the character of heredity, or be the result of any other physical effects on the baby's organism in utero.

Important!Details on the treatment of glaucoma with proven methods at home, can be found here.

Medical scientists agreed on the opinion that the glaucoma is caused by a combination of several factors of influence:

  • anomalies in the structure of the child's eye;
  • pathological processes of development of the endocrine, nervous, cardiovascular system of the fetus;
  • During pregnancy, such diseases as influenza, toxoplasmosis, syphilis, parotitis, poliomyelitis, and rubella have been carried out by a woman during pregnancy.

Unwanted effects on the development of the fetus may have pregnancy beriberi, bad habits, use during pregnancy by the mother of alcohol or smoking. Sometimes the child's miscarriage may be caused by a traumatized mother during pregnancy.

Important!Also, this pathology can trigger an incorrectly conducted birth process with the use of forceps, at this time, damage to the child's eyeball can occur.


Even in the presence of visible symptoms, the diagnosis of congenital glaucoma is confirmed only by a specialist in this field - an ophthalmologist. In some cases, the symptoms of glaucoma occur similarly to conjunctivitis (lachrymation, reddening of the sclera, photophobia). It is necessary to periodically check with such a doctor in the clinic.

In addition to increased IOP, in such children the developmental stages of glaucoma are determined by the horizontal diameter of the cornea. If at the initial stage its size is 12 mm, then in the far-reaching stage it is equal to 14 mm or more.

Symptoms that appear immediately after birth, indicate a forthcoming severe course with unpredictable results.

How to treat congenital glaucoma in children

After confirming the diagnosis, the doctor prescribes treatment according to the degree of progression of the disease. But such an innate pathology usually can not be cured with the help of medicines. It only in some cases stops the aggravation of the course of the disease.

Remember!The only correct method is the surgical method of treating congenital glaucoma.

The operation can be prescribed at any age. The earlier the surgery is performed, the greater the probability of a positive result and the complete elimination of the problem.

Operative intervention is aimed at reducing the accumulation of fluid in the eyeball. The time spent in hospital after surgery is usually about two weeks. At this time, medication is being treated to restore the function of the eye. After discharge from the hospital, the doctor may also prescribe medications or special procedures.

Important!What eye drops are used to treat glaucoma, read here.

There are cases when, after surgery, the disease does not go away, but intraocular pressure continues to increase. In this case, a re-operation is assigned. But do not postpone the timing of its conduct, so the disease can very quickly progress. At the advanced stage of the disease, more complicated methods of surgical intervention are used and it is more difficult to predict a positive result.

After the successful operation, the child's vision is restored and in the future remains at a normal or sufficient level.

Important!Details on how to treat glaucoma in the elderly, you can find out on our website.

Congenital glaucoma in a child is a serious problem, but it can be managed with timely diagnosis and timely treatment started. Therefore it is very important to periodically visit an ophthalmologist, especially in the first year of a child's life.

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