Acute Angle-closure Glaucoma

Eyes | Ophthalmology | Acute Angle-closure Glaucoma (Disease)


Acute angle-closure glaucoma occurs when the pressure inside the eye rises quickly. Symptoms of acute angle-closure glaucoma include the following: severe eye pain; nausea and vomiting; headache; blurred vision and/or seeing haloes around lights (Haloes and blurred vision occur because the cornea is swollen); profuse tearing.

Causes and Risk factors

Acute angle-closure glaucoma occurs when pressure in the anterior chamber of the eye increase due to sudden blockage of the normal circulation of fluid within the eye. The block takes place at the angle of the anterior chamber formed by its junction of the cornea with the iris. This angle can be seen by simply looking at someones eye from the side. Angle closure may occur in two ways: the iris may be pushed forward up against the trabecular meshwork and the iris may be pulled up against the trabecular meshwork. In either case, the position of the iris causes the normally open anterior chamber angle to close.

Aqueous humor that should normally drain out of the anterior chamber is trapped inside the eye, thereby increasing the IOP. If the ensuing rise in pressure is sudden, pain, blurred vision, and nausea may occur. Optic nerve damage may also occur due to the increased IOP, either in a sudden attack or in intermittent episodes over a long period of time. Sometimes, the attack may be caused by dilation of the pupils, possibly during an eye examination.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Testing for glaucoma should include measurements of the intraocular pressure via tonometry, changes in size or shape of the eye, anterior chamber angle examination or gonioscopy, and examination of the optic nerve to look for any visible damage to it, or change in the cup-to-disc ratio and also rim appearance and vascular change.

Treatment may include medication and laser treatment. ...