Although blindness is very rare in children, there are several conditions which can cause blindness in a child if not caught early on. Pediatric glaucoma is one such condition. Pediatric glaucoma occurs when the pressure in the eye is elevated, causing damage to the optic nerve.
More common conditions that can affect vision in children include strabismus, a crossing of the eyes, or amblyopia, poor vision in one or both of the eyes and more commonly known as lazy eye. Left untreated, these children’s eye conditions can lead to longer term problems with vision, hinder the development of the eye and cause problems with socialization and learning.
According to Dr. Shreya Prabhu, an assistant clinical professor of ophthalmology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York, there are 2 types of pediatric glaucoma: infantile and juvenile.
For infantile glaucoma, Dr. Prabhu suggests parents looking for the following:
- children who don’t seem to want to open their eyes in the light
- children with whose surface of the eye looks cloudy
- children with eyes that look teary
Dr. Prabhu goes on to suggest that some infants with glaucoma will also have enlarged corneas – or unusually large eyes – a trait that can be difficult for parents to spot, but can sometimes be recognized by a pediatrician.
However, juvenile glaucoma, which develops during adolescence, is often asymptomatic and can be much more difficult to identify at home.
If adolescents begin to experience problems with peripheral vision, or complain of ‘tunnel vision,’ parents should take them to a children’s eye doctor immediately, as these are signs that the disease has become more advanced according to Dr. Prabhu.
SOURCE: Fox News Health