Glaucoma is a leading cause of irreversible blindness worldwide. Of the different types of glaucoma, angle-closure glaucoma is one of the less common but most serious forms.
Keep reading to learn more about angle-closure glaucoma!
What is Angle-Closure Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is a group of eye conditions that damage the optic nerve, which is a part of the eye that gathers information from the light that enters the eye and sends it to the brain. Glaucoma is often associated with increased pressure in the eye, also known as intraocular pressure or IOP.
There are different types of glaucoma, and angle-closure glaucoma is one of them. Angle-closure glaucoma, which is closely related to narrow-angle glaucoma.
Angle-closure glaucoma happens when the angle where the iris meets the cornea is too narrow and begins to close off. This blocks the drainage of aqueous humor, the fluid in the front of the eye.
As the fluid builds up, it raises the IOP, which can damage the optic nerve. This type of glaucoma can cause rapid vision loss if it’s not treated.
What Causes Angle-Closure Glaucoma?
There are several factors that can increase the risk of developing angle-closure glaucoma:
It becomes more common as people get older. Most cases happen in people over age forty.
Being very farsighted makes the eyes smaller and increases the risk.
Having a close relative with the condition increases risk.
Structure of the Eye
Having a shallow anterior chamber, which is the area at the front of your eye, or a thick lens also raises risk.
What Are the Symptoms of Angle-Closure Glaucoma?
Angle-closure glaucoma can cause several noticeable symptoms affecting vision and comfort. The most common signs to watch for include:
- Blurred vision
- Halos around lights
- Eye redness
- Ocular discomfort
- Nausea and vomiting
In early stages, these symptoms may come and go. However, angle-closure glaucoma can also begin with sudden, painful symptoms.
If you develop any of these symptoms, it’s important to visit your eye doctor or ER right away, as you could be at risk of permanent vision loss.
Vision loss can occur within days without urgent treatment.
How Do Eye Doctors Diagnose Angle-Closure Glaucoma?
To diagnose angle-closure glaucoma, your eye doctor at Metro Eye Care in Paramus, New Jersey, will:
- Check your medical history
- Do an eye exam to measure eye pressure and check the drainage angle
- Use imaging tests to examine the angle and optic nerve
- Check your vision with visual field testing
These help confirm narrow angles are blocking fluid drainage and causing optic nerve damage.
What are the Treatment Methods Used for Angle-Closure Glaucoma?
When it comes to managing angle-closure glaucoma, the main treatment goals are lowering eye pressure and preventing further damage to the optic nerve. There are several options available to accomplish these aims.
Commonly prescribed medicated eye drops work to both reduce the production of aqueous fluid in the eye as well as increase its drainage out of the eye. Laser procedures are another option that can help open the drainage angle using a laser to make tiny holes in the iris.
This allows the angle to broaden so fluid can escape. Glaucoma surgery may also be recommended in some cases. The earlier angle-closure glaucoma is detected and treatment initiated, the better the outcome typically is.
Prompt and appropriate treatment methods are the most efficient ways to avoid permanent vision loss due to angle-closure glaucoma. Pay attention to eye symptoms and get them checked as soon as possible.
Treatment can prevent optic nerve damage and vision loss.
Are you experiencing vision changes? Schedule an appointment at Metro Eye Care in Paramus, NJ, today!