Can a child get glaucoma?
Yes, glaucoma may be present at birth (congenital glaucoma) or become apparent in babies. As a parent you may notice that your baby has an abnormal enlargement of one or both eyes which is a hallmark of abnormally high intraocular pressure. The child will cry a lot and display a strong aversion to bright light. The treatment of congenital glaucoma is an urgency and the only effective treatment is a specific surgical procedure. After successful surgery rehabilitation with the right spectacle correction and orthoptic treatment are mandatory to ensure an optimal development of the visual functions.(afb19)
Child with congenital glaucoma. note the "big" eyes and the hazy aspect of the corneas. The loss of corneal transparency is due to corneal oedema as a result of very high intraocular pressure
Another uncommon condition is glaucoma in older children or in adolescents (juvenile glaucoma). This form often goes unnoticed until late in the disease since the typical enlargement of baby eyes is absent in older children. This form of glaucoma has often a hereditary pattern and therefore systematic screening of all family members is recommended.