What is dangerous for congenital glaucoma in a newborn
Congenital glaucoma is a serious eye disease in newborns, which is the leading cause of blindness in children. It appears due to an abnormal increase in intraocular pressure during pregnancy in the fetus, and in some cases, glaucoma is accompanied by various abnormalities of the child's development.
In some cases, glaucoma is noticed immediately after the baby's birth, but most often this pathology is detected during the first year of life, because only a few weeks after birth, the child begins to acquire a vision apparatus, and before that, visual impairment is very difficult.
Symptoms of pathology
In classic course, congenital glaucoma is characterized by:
- increasing the size of the eyeball and the diameter of the cornea;
- by dilating the pupil;
- weakening the reaction of the eye to light;
- decreased acuity and narrowed field of view;
- with increased intraocular pressure.
It is possible to suspect the presence of glaucoma by large eyes, which in babies look very beautiful and usually do not cause fear. Most often this is a two-way process, with the majority of patients being boys. If the cause of the appearance of pathology is heredity, then glaucoma can manifest in a child of any gender. Most often this disease is detected even in the maternity hospital, but if the timely diagnosis has not been carried out and the treatment has not been started, then even before the school age reaches the child is completely blind.
The sooner the disease is identified, the more chances for a full life in the child. That is why it is very important to visit doctors in a timely manner during the first year of life, as is currently the case, as this will enable early diagnosis of glaucoma, even if it was not found in the maternity hospital.
In some cases, the manifestations of glaucoma are similar to conjunctivitis, photophobia and lacrimation make diagnosis difficult. They can be distinguished only by the size of the cornea and the absence of intraocular pressure, so it is necessary to carry out a diagnosis even if there is a slightest suspicion of glaucoma.
In some cases, congenital glaucoma in children may be accompanied by other pathologies of internal organs, so when diagnosing this disease it is important to conduct a comprehensive examination of the body. In addition to hereditary factors, the cause of the appearance of pathology can be various conditions and mother's diseases during pregnancy, for example, rubella or chicken pox.
Abuse of alcohol, nicotine, and narcotic substances can also exert its influence. Hereditary glaucoma can be transmitted through a generation, so if there are risk factors, it is advisable to carry out the diagnosis immediately after birth.
Treatment of congenital glaucoma
In children and adults, different tactics are used to treat glaucoma. For children, surgical treatment is usually recommended, and the earlier it is carried out, the better. The goal of surgical intervention is to normalize the outflow of intraocular fluid or reduce its production.
One of the most common methods of treatment is goniotomy, the effectiveness of which directly depends on the severity of the disease and the age of the child. After some time after this procedure, goniopuncture is prescribed, but only if there are special indications. About 90% of children with a timely start of treatment have a chance of partial or complete recovery of vision.
Other treatments are also used, such as trabeculotomy and trabeculectomy. They can be carried out both together and separately, it all depends on the form of the disease and its severity. After that, additional medication can be prescribed, the purpose of which is to lower the intraocular pressure and the overall restorative effect. Medications are also prescribed before surgery to reduce intraocular pressure and prepare the patient for surgery.
Any surgical intervention in patients, especially in such small ones, is carried out under general anesthesia. Thanks to the use of microsurgical techniques, the period of hospitalization of a baby is only about 2 weeks. If the operation was performed on time, in the early stages of the disease, then the treatment of congenital glaucoma gives a good effect, most patients retain good or satisfactory vision until the end of life, and in late stages this effectiveness is noted only in every fourth sick child.
In no case should it be delayed with the treatment of congenital glaucoma, the reason for postponement may be only the general severe condition of the newborn in the presence of multiple pathologies of internal organs.