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 fluid in the front compartment of 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:
Sometimes certain medications can cause sudden angle-closure glaucoma. These include:
Angle-closure glaucoma is more common in older aging adults and in Asian people. Other factors that may increase your chance of developing angle-closure glaucoma include:
Patients with narrow angles experience few or no symptoms until the disease has progressed to an acute angle-closure attack. Symptoms may include:
Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done.
Tests may include:
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:
The Glaucoma Foundation
Glaucoma Research Foundation
Glaucoma Research Society of Canada
The Canadian Ophthalmological Society
Angle-closure glaucoma. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what. Updated May 19, 2013. Accessed July 16, 2013.
Angle-closure glaucoma Glaucoma Research Foundation website. Available at: http://www.glaucoma.org/glaucoma/angle-closure-glaucoma.php. Accessed July 16, 2013.
Facts about glaucoma. National Eye Institute website. Available at: http://www.nei.nih.gov/health/glaucoma/glaucoma_facts.asp. Accessed July 16, 2013.
Vision screening recommendations for adults 40 to 60. American Academy of Ophthalmology Eye Smart website. Available at: http://www.geteyesmart.org/eyesmart/living/midlife-adults-screening.cfm. Accessed July 16, 2013.
Vision screening recommendations for adults over 60. American Academy of Ophthalmology Eye Smart website. Available at: http://www.geteyesmart.org/eyesmart/living/seniors-screening.cfm. Accessed July 16, 2013.
Vision screening recommendations for adults under 40. American Academy of Ophthalmology Eye Smart website. Available at: http://www.geteyesmart.org/eyesmart/living/young-adults-screening.cfm. Accessed July 16, 2013.
What is glaucoma? American Academy of Ophthalmology website. Available at: http://www.geteyesmart.org/eyesmart/diseases/glaucoma.cfm. Accessed July 16, 2013.
Last reviewed July 2013 by Christopher Cheyer, MD; Brian Randall, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.