Is your child complaining of eye pain or blurry vision? And are they seeing a halo around every light? When you look at their eyes, are they red or cloudy? And more importantly, do they have a toothache, an inflamed gum, or a worn dental filling? Then they likely have glaucoma, an eye disease, and their poor oral health may be causing it. Read more related to oral health at https://www.drinvisalignsydney.com.au.
What is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is an eye condition, characterized by fluid building up in the front of the eye. The pressure that results slowly damages the optic nerve until, if unchecked, it leads to blindness.
What Causes it?
Under normal conditions, the fluid in your eye flows out through a channel. When a blood vessel, an injury, a surgical procedure, or an infection blocks this channel, glaucoma occurs. But in most cases, the condition occurs naturally as a result of genetics.
Types of Glaucoma
Two types exist, depending on whether or not the channel is constricted. In acute-angle glaucoma, the channel constricts, blocking the flow of fluid. But in wide-angle glaucoma, the circuit shows no sign of constriction, yet the flow of fluid is prevented.
Glaucoma in Children
Although the disease is more common in middle-aged and elderly adults, it also affects infants and children. Known as pediatric glaucoma, it occurs when the drainage channels in an infant’s eyes fail to develop. In older children, however, it is linked to eye trauma, steroid drugs, and poor oral health.
Symptoms of Childhood Glaucoma
• Cloudy eyes
• Eye pain
• Teary eyes
• Enlarged eyes
• Sensitivity to light
Childhood Glaucoma and Oral Health
If left unchecked, the germs in teeth cavities, in worn fillings, or from gum disease can migrate to the jaw bone. From here, they can damage the optic nerve, which passes close to the upper jaw, causing glaucoma.
Treating Childhood Glaucoma
Although glaucoma has no known cure, its symptoms can be managed in the following ways.
• Surgery – reduces eye pressure by repairing blocked drainage channels or by creating new ones.
• Drops – encourage fluid drainage.
• Glasses – overcome the nearsightedness caused by glaucoma.
• Dental Hygiene – prevents a recurrence of glaucoma.
Despite being known as the sneak thief of vision, glaucoma shouldn’t cost your child their vision. With early detection and intervention, it can be stopped in its tracks. But for that to happen, have your child’s eyes checked at least once a year. Also, encourage them to maintain proper dental hygiene.