According to Dr. Isaac Asirifi, Resident Optometrist at the International Maritime Hospital (IMaH), toddlers are less prone to develop glaucoma than adults.
Excessive tearing, sensitivity to light, closure of one or both eyes in the light, cloudy, enlarged cornea, one eye looking larger than the other, and vision loss are the most common symptoms of childhood glaucoma that parents should be aware of.
Speaking on the worldwide theme for the 2023 World Glaucoma Week celebration, "the world is bright, save your sight," Dr. Asirifi revealed that glaucoma impacts not only adults over the age of 40, but also children and, in rare cases, infants.
He clarified that, while there was no known cause, some risk factors, such as race and family history, could contribute to a child getting glaucoma.
He emphasised that because glaucoma manifests variably in infants, an early eye examination is critical.
A growing cornea, cloudy or hazy eyes, tears dripping from the eyes, blurred vision, increased blinking in infants, worsening nearsightedness, and occasionally headaches are all indications that your child is developing glaucoma, according to him.
Dr. Asirifi stated at the weekly “Your Health! Our Collective Responsibility! A Ghana News Agency Tema Regional Office initiative aimed at promoting communication on health-related and setting the medium for the propagation of health information to influence personal health choices by improving health literacy.
“Your Health! Our Collective Responsibility! is a public health advocacy platform initiated by the Ghana News Agency Tema Regional Office to explore the parameters of the four approaches to health communication: informative, educating, persuasive, and prompting.
He went on to say that glaucoma had no regard for income, gender, or age and could affect anyone. He stated that glaucoma, also known as the silent robber of sight, doesn't care about your age or gender.
Dr. Asirifi advised parents and caretakers to regularly check their own and their children's eyes by visiting optometrists and eye clinics in order to avoid complications or blindness.
Furthermore, he advised against bringing children to the pharmacy first if they have ocular problems.
"Eyes are valuable and serve an important purpose; you cannot borrow another person's eyes." As a result, you should have regular eye exams or contact an eye expert if your circumstances change," said the IMaH Resident Optometrist.
Mr. Francis Ameyibor, Regional Manager of Ghana News Agency Tema, urged people suffering from any eye condition to using prescribed eye drops correctly to prevent medical complications.
He stated that "failure to learn how to correctly apply eye drops could have both medical and financial consequences," emphasising that it would not only defeat the purpose of receiving the eye drops but would also increase the amount of money spent on buying eye medications.
Mr. Ameyibor noted that when an optometrist provided instructions specific to the medication or eye drops a patient required, the appropriate technique for applying those eye drops was usually the same, and thus must be done correctly.