(Acute Angle-Closure Glaucoma; Single Angle-Closure Glaucoma)
by Diana Kohnle
Glaucoma represents a group of eye disorders that cause damage to the optic nerve. Glaucoma is a degenerative eye disease and one of the leading causes of blindness in the United States.
Angle-closure glaucoma is a condition in which the iris in the eye shifts and blocks the exit passageway of the aqueous humor, the fluid that fills the eye. This fluid blockage causes a rapid build-up of pressure in the eye.
Angle-closure glaucoma is an emergency condition that requires immediate medical treatment to preserve vision.
The exact cause of open-angle glaucoma is unknown. However, factors that play a role in causing the disease include:
A risk factor is something that increases your chance of getting a disease or condition. The following factors increase your chance of developing angle-closure glaucoma:
Patients with narrow angles experience few or no symptoms until the disease has progressed to an acute angle-closure attack. Symptoms of this may include:
Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history, and perform a physical exam.
Tests may include the following:
Angle-closure glaucoma requires emergency medical treatment to preserve vision. See an ophthalmologist immediately if you have any signs or symptoms of an angle-closure glaucoma attack. Treatment options include:
Angle-closure glaucoma cannot be prevented, but prompt medical treatment can reduce the risk of vision loss. Patients at high risk of having an angle-closure glaucoma attack may undergo preventive surgery to open a new channel in the iris. Since you cannot tell if you have narrow angles, it is important to have a comprehensive eye examination regularly.
The Glaucoma Foundation
Glaucoma Research Foundation
The Canadian Glaucoma Society
Glaucoma Research Society of Canada
DynaMed Editorial Team. Glaucoma. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php . Updated October 12, 2010. Accessed October 20, 2010.
International Glaucoma Association. Acute glaucoma (primary angle closure glaucoma). International Glaucoma Association website. Available at: http://www.glaucom... . Accessed July 16, 2007.
National Eye Institute. Glaucoma. National Eye Institute website. Available at: http://www.nei.nih.gov/health/glaucoma/glaucoma_facts.asp . Accessed June 27, 2007.
Spaeth G. What is angle closure glaucoma? Glaucoma Service Foundation to Prevent Blindness website. Available at: http://wills-glaucoma.org/aclose.htm . Accessed June 27, 2007.
World Health Organization. Blindness. World Health Organization website. Available at: http://www.who.int/topics/blindness/en/ . Accessed October 20, 2010.
Last reviewed [Under Medical Review] by Christopher Cheyer, MD