CITY CONDITIONS UPDATE: The Wills Eye Hospital building, staff, and patients have been safe during the protests in the City. We will continue to monitor the situation. Tuesday care will proceed as scheduled at 840 Walnut Street unless conditions change. Please contact your physician if you are unable to keep your appointment.

Angle Closure Glaucoma

Angle closure glaucoma, also called narrow-angle glaucoma,
refers to intraocular eye pressure caused by inefficient
drainage of the eye canals.

It can present as acute glaucoma or chronic glaucoma
and requires immediate medical attention.

 

Anatomically Narrow Angles

When the anterior chamber angle is narrow, patients are at risk of developing both acute angle closure glaucoma and chronic angle closure glaucoma. However, it is important to understand that being at risk for glaucoma and having glaucoma are different. People with anatomically narrow angles carry only the predisposition to glaucoma without any evidence of glaucoma itself. Often, treatment of anatomically narrow angles may prevent the ultimate development of glaucoma. Laser therapy is one of the cornerstones of narrow angle treatment.

 

Acute Angle Closure Glaucoma

Acute angle closure glaucoma occurs when narrowing of the anterior chamber angle leads to a sudden increase in intraocular pressure.  This is an ocular emergency.  In acute angle closure glaucoma, the passageway to the eye’s drainage apparatus becomes so narrow that it disrupts flow of the fluid inside the eye to its drains.  Rapid treatment to decrease the intraocular pressure and break the attack of angle closure is needed to preserve vision.

Chronic Angle Closure Glaucoma

The anterior chamber angle is composed of the iris and cornea.  When the angle is narrow and these structures are very close together, scar tissue may form between them and overly the drainage apparatus of the eye.  If enough of this scar tissue is present, elevated intaocular pressure and glaucoma develop over time in a process termed chronic angle closure glaucoma.  Although in many people this condition is slowly progressive, acute (rapid) elevation of intraocular pressure may occur within the context of chronic angle closure glaucoma.

Angle Closure Glaucoma Symptoms

This rare form of glaucoma is very serious and can progress quickly, so if you are experiencing these symptoms please see a specialist immediately:

  • Severe eye pain
  • Headache
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Blurred vision and/or seeing haloes around lights
  • Incessant tearing

Request an Appointment TODAY

If you would like to speak with a Wills Eye representative for help finding a glaucoma physician

CALL 215-928-3197

or click here to make an appointment online.

Jonathan Myers, MD

Jonathan Myers, MD
Chief, Glaucoma Service

L. Jay Katz, MD
Emeritus Director

Elizabeth Dale, MD

Elizabeth Dale, MD

Scott Fudemberg, MD

Scott Fudemberg, MD

Natasha Nayak Kolomeyer, MD

Natasha Kolomeyer, MD

Daniel Lee, MD

Anand Mantravadi, MD

Marlene Moster, MD

Marlene Moster, MD

Michael Pro, MD

Michael Pro, MD

Reza Razeghinejad, MD

Reza Razeghinejad, MD

Aakriti Garg Shukla, MD

Aakriti Garg Shukla, MD

Mary Jude Cox, MD

Mary Jude Cox, MD

Rachel Niknam, MD

Rachel Niknam, MD

Jody Piltz-Seymour, MD

Jesse Richman, MD

Jesse Richman, MD

Geoffrey Schwartz, MD

Courtland Schmidt Jr., MD

Monisha Vora, MD

Monisha Vora, MD

Alice Williams, MD

Alice Williams, MD

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Closed Angle Glaucoma Treatment

Treatment for closed-angle glaucoma includes laser treatments or surgery to unblock the canals and allow fluid to drain. Treatment is generally successful and depends on the severity and progression of the illness, as well as other unique patient factors.

Types of treatment for primary angle closure suspect (anatomically narrow angles), primary angle closure, and primary angle closure glaucoma may include:
  • Peripheral iridotomy. This laser treatment for narrow angles creates a small hole in the iris (the colored part of the eye).This hole can decrease the risk of acute angle closure glaucoma. Additionally, the hole may result in widening of the narrow anterior chamber angle, depending on the patient. 
  • Medications
  • Cataract surgery
  • Glaucoma surgery

 

 

If you are experiencing the symptoms of narrow-angle glaucoma it is important that you seek assistance right away. Contact us at Wills Eye Hospital today to visit with a specialist.