Glaucoma refers to the changes in the Optic nerve- nerve responsible for vision of the eye, due to elevation of eye pressure. Glaucoma is very common in old age but can also occur at birth, early childhood and adolescence. The glaucoma that manifests in children is called as congenital glaucoma. The causes are unknown in majority of kids but genetic factor does play a role.
The symptoms are excessive watering of eyes, difficulty looking at bright light and excessive blinking of eyes. The black portion of the eye may be hazy, opaque in many cases. Striking feature of this condition is the abnormally large cornea- the black portion of the eye. Sometimes the eye itself may be enlarged. All these changes are due to the raised pressure of the eye exerting effect on the internal structures of the eye. Although there are medications available to reduce the eye pressure, the permanent relief can be achieved by surgery only. Sometimes multiple surgeries are required as the disease is progressive in nature. Hence, periodic follow-up is mandatory. The visual prognosis reduces with increasing duration of the disease, as the disease damages the optic nerve which is irreversible.