Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Glaucoma can affect children as well as the elderly

Date:
June 18, 2014
Source:
Loyola University Health System
Summary:
While glaucoma is most common in people older than 65, the disease in rare cases can also affect children. As many as six million Americans have glaucoma, and more than 5,000 go blind from the disease every year. While glaucoma is most common in people older than 65, the disease in rare cases can also affect children. About 1 in 1 million infants are born with glaucoma.

Christian Earl, shown with his mother, Olivia Goree, was born with glaucoma, but is doing well after multiple surgeries.
Credit: Loyola University Medical Center

When Christian Earl was six weeks old, his mother did not think his eyes looked right, so she took him to Loyola University Medical Center for an evaluation.

She was shocked to learn that Christian had glaucoma and other congenital eye problems that were threatening his vision.

"I thought that only older people could get glaucoma," said Christian's mother, Olivia Goree.

Loyola ophthalmologist Dr. Robert J. Barnes stabilized Christian's vision by implanting tiny devices that drained fluid from his eyes. Another Loyola ophthalmologist removed cataracts and scar tissue that also were threatening his vision.

Without the surgeries, Christian, now a year and a half, almost certainly would have gone blind. Christian has lost some peripheral vision, and he needs to wear glasses. But his vision has stabilized, and it appears that the rambunctious little boy can see normally, his mother said. "Before the surgeries," she added, "he was bumping into everything."

When Christian was an infant, his eyes had a hazy bluish-gray color. A pediatrician (not at Loyola) initially told her not to worry. But she wasn't reassured, so she brought Christian to Loyola for an eye exam. Ophthalmologist Cathleen Cronin, MD, diagnosed his condition and coordinated his care.

Barnes and Cronin said it was very fortunate that Christian's mother trusted her instincts and brought her in for an ophthalmologic evaluation. "The lesson here is that if your child's eyes do not look right to you, or if there appears to be vision problems, do not hesitate to have your child seen by an ophthalmologist."

As many as six million Americans have glaucoma, and more than 5,000 go blind from the disease every year. While glaucoma is most common in people older than 65, the disease in rare cases can also affect children, said Barnes, who specializes in glaucoma management and surgery. Barnes is among a handful of ophthalmologists who treat glaucoma in children. About 1 in 1 million infants are born with the type of glaucoma that affects Christian, Barnes said.

Glaucoma symptoms include loss of peripheral vision, blurry vision, poor night vision, blind spots and, eventually, blindness.

Glaucoma typically is caused by increased pressure in the eye due to a buildup of fluid that flows into and out of the eye. The pressure damages the optic nerve. Treatments include eye drops and other medications and surgery. In adults with advanced glaucoma, and in children with glaucoma, the surgeon may need to implant a device that drains fluid. In Christian's case, Barnes implanted a tiny silicon tubing in each eye. The device, regulated by a valve, drains fluid from the eye. By restoring proper pressure to the eye, the device is saving Christian's eyesight.

"Christian's case is an example of Loyola's commitment to providing expert, subspecialty care in difficult and complex cases," Barnes said.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Loyola University Health System. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Loyola University Health System. "Glaucoma can affect children as well as the elderly." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 June 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140618111643.htm>.
Loyola University Health System. (2014, June 18). Glaucoma can affect children as well as the elderly. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140618111643.htm
Loyola University Health System. "Glaucoma can affect children as well as the elderly." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140618111643.htm (accessed July 24, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Newsy (July 24, 2014) Sheik Umar Khan has treated many of the people infected in the Ebola outbreak, and now he's become one of them. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Condemned Man's US Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours

Condemned Man's US Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours

AFP (July 24, 2014) America's death penalty debate raged Thursday after it took nearly two hours for Arizona to execute a prisoner who lost a Supreme Court battle challenging the experimental lethal drug cocktail. Duration: 00:55 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
China's Ageing Millions Look Forward to Bleak Future

China's Ageing Millions Look Forward to Bleak Future

AFP (July 24, 2014) China's elderly population is expanding so quickly that children struggle to look after them, pushing them to do something unexpected in Chinese society- move their parents into a nursing home. Duration: 02:07 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

    Health News

      Environment News

        Technology News



          Save/Print:
          Share:

          Free Subscriptions


          Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

          Get Social & Mobile


          Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

          Have Feedback?


          Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
          Mobile: iPhone Android Web
          Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
          Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
          Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins