Severe narrow-angle glaucoma happens all of a sudden, when the colored portion of your eye (iris) is pushed or pulled forward. This causes blockage of the drain angle of the eye, where the trabecular meshwork enables outflow of fluids.
When internal eye structures are obstructed in this method, your eye’s internal pressure (intraocular pressure or IOP) may spike and perhaps damage the optic nerve that transmits images from the eye to the brain.
Symptoms of Narrow Angle Glaucoma
These signs may last for hours or till the IOP is decreased. With each narrow-angle glaucoma attack, part of your peripheral vision may be lost.
Acute angle-closure glaucoma is a medical emergency situation. If the high eye pressure is not decreased within hours, it can cause permanent vision loss. Anybody who experiences these symptoms need to get in touch with an ophthalmologist instantly or go to a health center emergency clinic.
Some chronic forms of narrow-angle glaucoma, nevertheless, can advance very gradually and cause eye damage without any apparent symptoms or pain in early stages.
Causes of Narrow-Angle Glaucoma
Causes of the unusual positioning of the iris in narrow-angle glaucoma consist of:
Pupillary block. Eye fluid known as the liquid humor is produced in the ciliary body, which is located behind the iris. Usually, the liquid circulations quickly through the student into the front or anterior chamber of the eye.
But if the back of the iris complies with the lens inside the eye, this pupillary channel becomes blocked. Then fluid backs up behind the iris, pressing the iris forward up until it closes the drain angle in the anterior chamber.
Iris plateau. In this condition, the iris is attached to the ciliary body too near to the trabecular meshwork, where drainage takes place. When the student dilates, the peripheral iris tissue bunches up in the drain angle and can cover up the trabecular meshwork, causing IOP to increase quickly.
This kind of narrow-angle glaucoma attack can occur in conditions when the pupil dilates in dim lighting or when eye drops are used to deliberately increase the size of the student during an eye test.
Hyperopia. People who are farsighted are more likely to have eyes with shallow anterior chambers and narrow angles, increasing their risk for angle-closure glaucoma from pupil dilation or aging modifications in the eye.
Growths and other causes. A growth behind the iris, swelling related to swelling of the ciliary body (intermediate uveitis) and change of the shape of the eye after surgery for a separated retina also can cause angle-closure glaucoma.
Risk Factors for Narrow-Angle Glaucoma
In addition to hyperopia, risk factors for severe angle-closure glaucoma include:
- Age. As we grow older, the lens inside our eyes gets larger, increasing the risk for student block. Also, the anterior chamber tends to end up being progressively shallow, and the drain angle might narrow as we age.
- Race. Asians, in addition to Inuits and other northern indigenous people, who have anatomically narrower anterior chamber angles than whites, have a higher incidence of angle-closure glaucoma.
- Sex. Among Caucasians, angle-closure glaucoma happens 3 times more often in women than in men. Among African-Americans, men and women appear to be impacted equally.
Treatment of Narrow-Angle Glaucoma
The goal of treatment is to decrease intraocular pressure as soon as possible.
This can be done with systemic medications taken orally or sometimes given intravenously. Topical eye drops for glaucoma also are typically used to treat narrow-angle glaucoma. Often, laser and/or nonlaser glaucoma surgery may be needed to reduce the IOP.
Bear in mind that intense angle-closure glaucoma might be triggered by anything dilating the student, leading to the iris obstructing the drainage angle in the eye’s anterior chamber.
Dim lighting, eye drops administered by your eye care professional during an eye assessment or specific medications such as antihistamine/decongestant drops or cold medications might cause an acute angle-closure glaucoma attack.
In intense kinds of glaucoma, optic nerve damage and irreversible vision loss can happen within hours if the eye’s drainage angle is not opened to allow the excess aqueous to leave the eye, thereby decreasing the intraocular pressure.