What is Congenital Glaucoma?

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  • Written By: Nat Robinson
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 01 November 2018
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Glaucoma is a singular term that may be applied to many different eye conditions that can damage the optic nerve. The optic nerve is very important, as it is used to transmit signals to the brain which enable eyesight. In most cases, an abnormal amount of fluid pressure, known as intraocular pressure, inside of the eye causes optic nerve damage. Congenital glaucoma is a type of glaucoma an individual is born with. A person with this type of glaucoma will need to get treatment early in life or be at risk of losing his or her eyesight at an early age.

Sometimes, this condition is referred to as primary congenital glaucoma. Having a primary form of this condition generally means that no other medical disorder led to the development of glaucoma. In this case, it may have simply been inherited from someone in the family. As with most cases of glaucoma, this kind typically results from the buildup of fluid pressure in the eyes. Usually, this is due to a problem with the drainage outlets in the eyes, which prohibit proper draining of the fluid.


As this condition causes an excess of fluid, watery or teary eyes can be a common symptom. The eyes may have a reddish appearance and often hurt. Many people with this kind of glaucoma may be very sensitive to light. Their vision may become cloudy or blurry at times as well. Some people born with this condition may develop congenital glaucoma symptoms as babies, while others may not begin to show symptoms until later in childhood.

Congenital glaucoma treatment will be aimed toward lowering the fluid pressure in the eyes. In most cases, surgery will be used to treat this type of glaucoma. There are different kinds of surgeries available for people with this condition and one possible option is a trabeculectomy. In this surgery, tissue is removed from the draining area of the eye. The tissue will be removed to create an opening to allow fluid to properly drain from the eye, which will prevent severe fluid accumulation.

If a person has symptoms of congenital glaucoma, he or she should make an appointment with an ophthalmologist. This should be as soon as possible, because this condition can lead to a complete loss of vision. The doctor will carry out specialized tests to make an accurate diagnosis of glaucoma. Once the condition is confirmed, the ophthalmologist may begin by prescribing eye drops or medications as an entry level of treatment. Although, in most cases, especially with young children, the patient may be referred to a surgeon for surgical treatment of this form of glaucoma.



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Post 1

My niece gave birth to a premature baby boy six weeks ago. She was 32 weeks pregnant. The baby was 4lbs. 2oz. Jenice went home in two days and the baby stayed for two weeks. he went home before he reached 5lbs.

This past Saturday they took little Anthony to the ER of the hospital he was born in and they examined him and found he had glaucoma. they then sent him to a different hospital because they did not have the doctors or facility to operate on the child.

That hospital confirmed the glaucoma and sent the baby home, requesting he return on Monday to see the specialist. On Monday the condition was diagnosed as severe and he was

then sent to Mt. Sinai in New York. After hours of examinations they asked my niece to return the next day to have surgery with one of the specialists who specializes in pediatric optometry.

As I write this, Anthony is in surgery. My comment is this: should the hospital where the baby was born have kept him longer to better evaluate the child's physical health before releasing him? At the very least kept him until he was over 5lbs. Should they be held accountable for the child's condition?

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