Narrow Angle Glaucoma:
An acute episode of narrow angle glaucoma is considered a medical eye emergency. If the pressure is not reduced quickly, you may have permanent vision loss. It is important to note that some people with narrow angle glaucoma may not experience symptoms or may experience them intermittently, depending on what is causing the disease.
Narrow Angle Glaucoma Symptoms:
- blurred vision
- red eyes
- eye pain
- halos around lights
- mid-dilated pupil
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, see your optometrist or ophthalmologist immediately, or go to your local emergency room.
Causes of Narrow Angle Glaucoma:
In some inflammatory eye diseases, the anterior chamber becomes very sticky, causing the back of the iris to stick to the lens of the eye. This causes fluid to back up and push the iris forward, closing off the angle, called pupillary block. Tumors and severe diabetic eye disease can also cause narrow angle glaucoma.
Risk Factors for Narrow Angle Glaucoma:
- Farsightedness: Farsighted individuals are more likely to have a shallow anterior chamber.
- Age: Aging causes changes in the anatomy of the eye, putting you at risk for developing the disease.
- Race: Asians and Eskimos have a higher risk of developing narrow angle glaucoma because they have a shallow anterior chamber and anatomically narrow angles.
- Sex: Women are more likely to have narrow angle glaucoma.
- Cataracts: Cataracts can grow and make the lens of the eye thicker, often pushing the iris forward and causing pupillary block.
Narrow Angle Glaucoma Treatment:
Next, glaucoma doctors will perform a laser procedure called a peripheral iridotomy (PI) to allow the fluid to escape through the iris. An iridotomy is a very small hole in the iris that allows the fluid to pass through.
What You Should Know About Narrow Angle Glaucoma:
Cullom, R. Douglas and Benjamin Chang. The Wills Eye Manual: Office and Emergency Room Diagnosis and Treatment of Eye Disease, Second Edition. J.B. Lippincott Company, 1994.