Congenital Glaucoma


What is Congenital Glaucoma?

Congenital Glaucoma otherwise known as childhood glaucoma, infantile glaucoma or pediatric glaucoma is found to occur in babies and small children ( < 3 years of age). It is a rare condition but could result in a permanent loss of vision. 

Congenital Glaucoma Symptoms

The symptoms and signs of childhood glaucoma include:

  • Triad
  • Overflow of tears onto the face (Epiphora), 
  • Involuntary twitching of the eye (Blepharospasm),
  • Sensitivity towards the light (Photosensitivity)
  • Enlargement of the eyes (Buphthalmos)
  • Hazy cornea
  • Closing of the eyelid
  • Redness of the eye

Congenital Glaucoma Causes

  • Build-up of aqueous humor inside the eye
  • Genetic reasons
  • Birth defects in ocular angle
  • Underdeveloped cells, tissues

Congenital Glaucoma Risk Factors

From what is known the risk factors could be 

  • Family’s medical history 
  • Gender

Congenital Glaucoma Prevention

Even though congenital glaucoma cannot be fully prevented, complete vision loss could be prevented when diagnosed early. Some of the best ways to ensure we catch congenital glaucoma early are

  • To have eye checkups often
  • To be aware of your family’s medical history


Two types of glaucoma are

  • Primary Congenital Glaucoma: which means that the condition is not a result of another condition at birth.

  • Secondary Congenital Glaucoma: which means that the condition is a result of another condition at birth. For example, tumour, infections, etc.

Congenital Glaucoma Diagnosis

The doctor will conduct a thorough eye exam on the child. To make it easy for the doctor to visualize a small eye, the examination would be conducted in an operating room. The child would be under anaesthesia during the procedure.

The doctor will then measure the child’s intraocular pressure and carefully examine every part of the child’s eye.

The doctor would make a diagnosis only after considering all the symptoms, ruling out other ailments that caused the child’s problems.

Congenital Glaucoma Treatment 

For congenital glaucoma treatment, once it is diagnosed, doctors almost always opt to treat it by surgery. Since it is risky for infants to be under anaesthesia, doctors like to perform the congenital glaucoma surgery immediately after the diagnosis is made. If both the eyes are found to have congenital glaucoma, the doctors prefer performing the surgery on both eyes at once.

In case the doctors are not able to perform immediately, they may prescribe oral medications and eye drops or a combination of both to help in maintaining, reducing the eye pressure.

Sometimes, microsurgery could become an option. To reduce the eye pressure, the doctor creates a new channel to ease the flow of the fluid. A valve or tube may be implanted to drain the fluid. Laser surgery could also be used if other methods do not work. Lasers would be used to lessen fluid production.

Even though congenital glaucoma is not completely reversible, it could be controlled and a complete vision loss could be prevented. You could treat it before it worsens. If your child shows any of these symptoms or is diagnosed with congenital glaucoma get in touch with us today to be treated by some of the safest hands! Book an appointment now.


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