Treatment for Optic Nerve Damage in Child From Steroid-Induced Glaucoma

August 1, 2011

My 3 year old was diagnosed with leukemia (ALL) in 2007. The steroid (dexamethasone) was one of the drugs involved in the protocol for his treatment. Two weeks into treatment we noticed he had lost vision. His oncologist and several specialists in the vision field could not tell us why.

It was approximately 3 weeks from the time he lost vision when we took him to another pediatric neuro-opthamologist who checked his IOP’s and confirmed elevated pressures in both eyes (almost 40 in both). After determining the vision loss was due to steroid induced glaucoma we were able to continue with the dexamethasone and keep his pressures down with a series of eye drops. Partial vision returned in his left eye but nothing (other than possible light perception) in his right eye.

Where is technology today with as far as optic nerve repair and stem cell research for those who have not had a significant injury such as where the optic nerve was cut or severely damaged.┬áIn my son’s case, all components of the eye and optic nerve are intact just damaged due to the extended time of elevated IOP’s.




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4 Responses to “Treatment for Optic Nerve Damage in Child From Steroid-Induced Glaucoma”

  • ari

    the very young can sometimes improve from nerve damage than adults. there is no treatment except stem cell research


    My son now 4 years lost his eye sight at the age of 3 months after meningitis attack, reports from all Doctors i visited showed that optic nerve was damaged, i am wondering when is sight can reverse. Unlike those days when he was unable to se any light but nowadays he can’t enter to dark room, He likes maneuvering from room to room perfectly without any aid. when lights turns off during blackouts, he can tell, if i use a torch in lighted room he can differentiate torch lights from the bulb lights in the room. Is that the sign of reversing back his sight.

  • Enda

    My nephew under similar circumstances lost his eye sight in both eyes after contracting leukaemia. We were informed because his leukaemia was diagnosed at such a late stage,that the white blood cells attacked the back of his eyes and destroyed the optic this possible or was it the effects of the drugs submitted?

    The important thing at this stage is that both make a full recovery from their leukaemia,and hopefully some time soon with stem cell technology they will recover their eye sight.

  • ari

    any vision lost to glaucoma is irreversible. stem cell therapy in the distant future may help. i am so sorry. since it may be hard to assess the vision of a 3 year old, perhaps his vision is better than you think. also, the nervous system of a 3 year old may be more able to repair itself than an adult. you wil just have to control the eye pressure and see what happens.
    lastly, brimonidine for eye pressure may have some neuroprotectivce effect- perhaps that drop should be used