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Kremer Eye Center Blog

What is Narrow-Angle Glaucoma?

January 4, 2019

Regular Vision CheckupGlaucoma comes in many forms, including narrow-angle. Often referred to as angle-closure, narrow-angle glaucoma can occur suddenly and cause a rapid deterioration of vision and severe optic nerve damage. Fortunately, taking the time to understand this disease can help you avoid these issues and ensure you get the effective and advanced treatment you need.

To help you learn more, here’s your guide to narrow-angle glaucoma.

Narrow-Angle Glaucoma: Overview & Risk Factors

Narrow-angle glaucoma is one of the two main types of glaucoma. It occurs when the iris gets too close to the drainage angle. This prevents the fluid from draining out of the eye as needed, resulting in increased pressure. The more the pressure in your eyes rises, the higher the risk of optic nerve damage.

If the drainage angle becomes completely blocked, you may experience an acute attack. During an acute attack, eye pressure will increase rapidly and can cause nerve damage and complete vision loss if it is not treated immediately.

Overall, this disease can affect everyone. However, there are a few factors that can increase your risk. Some risk factors for narrow-angle glaucoma include:

  • Age
  • Previous eye injuries
  • Diabetes and hypertension
  • Family history of glaucoma
  • High farsightedness or nearsightedness

Narrow-Angle Glaucoma Symptoms

Blurry Vision

This type of glaucoma can occur suddenly, which means it’s important to get the treatment you need as soon as you start experiencing symptoms.

Here are some of the most common symptoms of narrow-angle glaucoma:

  • Blurry or hazy vision
  • Seeing rainbow-colored rings around bright lights
  • Loss of vision
  • Severe eye pain and headaches
  • Nausea or vomiting

For most patients, these symptoms will be quite noticeable and will cause severe damage to your eyes and sight quickly. If you begin to notice these warning signs, contact your eye doctor immediately for treatment to help reduce the risk of eye health issues and blindness.

Glaucoma Treatments & Prevention

While narrow-angle glaucoma can be a serious problem, treatments are available to help minimize the damage in your eyes and preserve your vision. One of the more common for this type of glaucoma is Laser Peripheral Iridotomy (LPI).

LPI is a quick procedure that can effectively reduce eye pressure. During the surgery, the surgeon uses an advanced laser to create a small hole in the iris. Once the hole forms, the angle will become unblocked, relieving eye pressure as the buildup of fluid drains. Overall, the procedure only lasts a few minutes.

While laser surgery can help treat this disease, the best way to help prevent it is to schedule routine eye exams. With regular eye doctor appointments, your doctor can monitor eye pressure and fluid buildup. If any problems are spotted or if you’re at high risk for developing narrow-angle glaucoma, they can work with you to ensure you get the specific treatment you need.

Understanding narrow-angle glaucoma, its symptoms, and treatment options can be the key to preserving your vision and your eye health. To learn more, schedule a glaucoma consultation today.

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