If their eyes are watering, they are sensitive to light and their eyeballs are enlarging, beware!
Large eyes, which are usually associated with beauty in society, may actually be the indication of a serious condition that can lead as far as blindness. The name of that condition is glaucoma, colloquially also known as eye pressure! While one in every ten thousand babies is born with glaucoma, parents need to be extremely careful and it is critical that they are aware of the symptoms. Acıbadem Maslak Hospital Ophthalmology Specialist Prof. Dr. Can Üstündağ explained the critical symptoms of glaucoma in kids, and provided parents with important warnings and suggestions within the scope of March 6-12 World Glaucoma Week.
They look so cuddly with those large eyes in those tiny heads. When this happens, everyone including family members tend to associate this feature with beauty. In reality, having large eyes can be the indication of glaucoma, a condition that could lead to blindness. Acibadem Maslak Hospital Ophthalmology Specialist Prof. Dr. Can Üstündağ pointed out that glaucoma is a condition that progresses insidiously and early detection is very important for treatment. One out of every 10 thousand babies is born with glaucoma, and 90 percent of these are detected before they reach the age of one. The damage that occurs between the time the disease emerges and when it is diagnosed is irreversible.
The eyeball starts to enlarge!
In order to achieve good eyesight and to nourish structures inside the eye, fluid starts being produced in the womb at about 2-3 months; small holes begin forming in the eye canals, and this fluid gradually starts seeping out of these holes. When glaucoma is congenital, there is a problem in the development of these holes and the fluid cannot seep out. This is why pressure inside the eyes increases and causes damage to vision nerves. Prof. Dr. Can Üstündağ says “Since babies’ eyes are elastic compared to adults, when pressure rises eyeballs keep enlarging for the first 3 years! This is why these children generally have large eyes. When families notice that their baby’s eyes are large they should immediately seek medical advice”.
Do not neglect these symptoms!
In addition to large eyes, another important symptom of glaucoma is their being unable to open their eyes in bright sunny weather. Unfortunately, most parents do not know that these symptoms could be the indication of a disease. If children have these types of complaints, the parents should not neglect to seek medical advice immediately. Prof. Dr. Can Üstündağ says “Some symptoms that families may notice the most are the eyes being constantly watery and the lens becoming grayish and opaque’.
A recurring disease
After pointing out that since glaucoma is a sneaky disease, vision loss develops very slowly and therefore is only noticeable at very late stages, Prof. Dr. Can Üstündağ drew attention to the fact that glaucoma can occur at any age. People with a family history of glaucoma carry 6 times more risk. While surgery is generally the treatment applied for glaucoma developed in childhood, with holes being opened in the eye ducts to release fluid and reduce pressure, second and third operations may become necessary. It is for this reason that Prof. Dr. Can Üstündağ recommends that glaucoma patients get regular eye examinations. The frequency for eye exams in glaucoma patients is usually once every six months, and can increase to every 2 months in advanced cases. In adults the first step in medication. When drops are not sufficient and damage to nerves progresses, laser and surgery options are applied.