Why Parents Need to Know the Signs of Childhood Glaucoma

January 15, 2015 7:02 PM

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Think of someone you know who has glaucoma, a common eye disease and major cause of blindness in the United States. Chances are, it's an older adult, as glaucoma affects more than 2.2 million Americans over age 40, with the majority age 70 or older. It may come as a surprise, then, to learn that about 1 in 10,000 babies is born with glaucoma, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology. While uncommon, childhood glaucoma is a serious medical problem, and early diagnosis and treatment offer the best hope of preventing blindness.

Glaucoma is a disease in which the optic nerve, the nerve that connects the eye to the brain, is damaged. Generally, this damage is caused by high pressure in the eye. The eye makes and drains fluid; when the drainage system becomes impaired, pressure from the excess fluid builds up in the eye and r...

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