Glaucoma in the young is relatively rare and often asymptomatic. The increased intraocular pressure associated with this disease may go unrecognized for months or years and the resultant damage produced be far advanced before a diagnosis is established.
The advance symptoms of glaucoma are easily recognized. Enlarged hazy cornea, together with photophobia, excessive lacrimation, increased intraocular pressure, and cupping of the optic disk are diagnostic. This syndrome is so dramatic that the need for prompt treatment is obvious to parents and physician alike. The earliest signs of glaucoma, eg, slow enlargement of the cornea, slight tearing, and photophobia, may escape notice unless the physician is alert to these possibilities. Diagnosis, therefore, is quite dependent upon the recognition of a congenital syndrome or cupped disk by the family physician, pediatrician, ophthalmologist, or optometrist.
Shaffer and Weiss are ophthalmologists who have had considerable experience with glaucoma in children. In this text they