Glaucoma in Children | Diagnosis & Treatment

How is glaucoma diagnosed?

To diagnose glaucoma, your child’s doctor will take a complete medical history and perform an eye examination. Specific eye tests may include:

  • visual acuity test: a common eye chart test (with letters and images) that measures vision ability at various distances
  • pupil dilation: widening the pupil with eye drops to allow a close-up examination of the eye's retina
  • visual field: a test to measure a child's side (peripheral) vision
  • tonometry: a test to determine the fluid pressure inside the eye

Because symptoms of glaucoma may resemble other eye problems or medical conditions, you should always consult your child's physician for a diagnosis. Early detection and diagnosis are critical in preventing vision loss.

What are the treatment options for glaucoma?

It's important for treatment of childhood glaucoma to start as early as possible. Treatment may include:

  • Medications: Some medications cause the eye to produce less fluid, while others lower pressure by helping fluid drain from the eye.
  • Surgery: The purpose of surgery is to create a new opening for fluid to leave the eye.
  • Laser surgery: There are several types of laser surgery used to treat glaucoma including trabeculotomy, iridotomy and cyclophotocoagulation. These procedures use lasers to either drain the fluid or reduce the production of fluid in the eye.