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A Complete Guide on Closed Angle Glaucoma

Gina Walters


closed angle glaucoma

Closed Angle Glaucoma is a condition where the pressure inside the eye starts to build up and causes eye pain.

It is also known as Angle Closure Glaucoma or Narrow Angle Glaucoma. 

Pressure increases if you have Closed Angle Glaucoma because fluid isn’t leaving your eye as it should be.

This article will cover everything about Closed Angle Glaucoma, including its symptoms and treatments. 

What is Closed Angle Glaucoma

Closed Angle or Narrow Angle Glaucoma is a form of Glaucoma that occurs when the pressure inside the eye rises too much.

It is a medical emergency where the Intraocular Pressure (IOP) increases because the eyes cannot drain fluid.

The fluid is created beneath an eye’s iris and typically passes past the pupil and into the eyeball’s front chamber.

Through a trabecular meshwork, the fluid is subsequently injected into the veins of the sclera (the white of the eye).

Glaucoma develops when there is a blockage in the fluid passage through the tabular meshwork.

Understand the difference between Open Angle and Closed Angle Glaucoma with our article: Open vs Closed Angle Glaucoma: An In-depth Comparison

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Types of Closed Angle Glaucoma

There are two primary forms of Closed Angle Glaucoma: primary and secondary.

The internal structure of the eye causes primary Closed Angle Glaucoma.

In contrast, changes to the eye develop Secondary Closed Angle Glaucoma.
Let’s understand the types of Closed-Angle Glaucoma in detail:

Primary Closed Angle Glaucoma

The eye’s anatomy makes the iris more likely to rub against the tabular meshwork in primary closed-angle Glaucoma.

This could be because:

  • There’s a very narrow-angle between the iris and the cornea 
  • The eyeball is short from both front and back 
  • Eyes have a narrow iris
  • The iris is forced forward by the thick internal lens of the eye

Secondary Closed Angle Glaucoma

doctor testing blood sugar levelSource: Dean_Drobot
Checking sugar level (diabetes can cause Secondary Closed Angle Glaucoma)

When you have Secondary Closed Angle Glaucoma, changes to your eye’s structure push the iris up against the trabecular meshwork.

Some underlying conditions causing Secondary Closed Angle Glaucoma are: 

Seek immediate medical help for Closed-Angle Glaucoma to avoid potential risks and side effects. 

Explore the various types Glaucoma and their causes with our article: Different Types of Glaucoma: A Guide to Causes and Treatment

Closed Angle Glaucoma can cause irreversible vision damage if not promptly treated. Delaying treatment may result in significant vision loss or even blindness

Symptoms of Closed Angle Glaucoma

Blurry visionSource: zoranm_from_Getty_Images
Blurry vision

Symptoms of closed-angle Glaucoma may appear suddenly and severely.

Occasional eye pain and redness occur but not to the same degree as acute Closed Angle Glaucoma.

Some of the other signs of Glaucoma may include:

If you experience any of these symptoms of Closed Angle Glaucoma, seek medical attention immediately to avoid side risks and side effects. 

Want to know about the various side effects of Glaucoma? Read our article: Understanding Glaucoma Symptoms: Signs of Silent Vision Loss

Regular eye check-ups, especially for individuals at higher risk, early detection, and timely treatment, are crucial in preventing irreversible vision loss associated with Closed Angle Glaucoma.

Treatments for Closed Angle Glaucoma

Immediate treatment is required as Closed Angle Glaucoma is a serious medical condition. 

Treatment for Closed Angle Glaucoma may include using a variety of medications, such as:

  • Medications to treat nausea and vomiting
  • Pilocarpine, a medicine that enlarges the gap between your iris and cornea
  • Acetazolamide can help to decrease ocular fluid
  • Beta-blockers reduces the amount of fluid produced by your eye

Such medications may lower the pressure in the eyes

You could require surgery to stop the pressure from increasing once it has been reduced.

Peripheral Iridotomy and surgical iridectomy are the procedures used to cure closed-angle Glaucoma.

A procedure called Peripheral Iridotomy is used to treat Closed Angle Glaucoma as it enlarges the angle between the iris and cornea.

Get immediate medical attention for Closed Angle Glaucoma to avoid severe risks and side effects. 

Know more about the various Glaucoma treatment options available with our article: A Guide to Glaucoma Treatment Options

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Summing up

Closed Angle Glaucoma is a serious medical condition that requires immediate attention. 

As the fluid cannot drain from the eye, this condition leads to elevated Intraocular Pressure (IOP), signifying an increase in pressure within the eye.

This might be because the tabular meshwork, which lets fluid flow out of the eye, is blocked.

Regular eye exams are essential, especially for those who are more vulnerable. 

During an acute attack, it’s vital to recognize symptoms and get rapid medical assistance. 

An immediate diagnosis and the right care can stop permanent vision loss.

Your doctor may recommend Glaucoma eye drops such as Latanoprost to lower IOP.

They can suggest surgery to avoid Closed-Angle Glaucoma when the pressure inside the eye has decreased.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Closed Angle Glaucoma curable? 

Closed Angle Glaucoma is treatable but typically not curable. 

Immediate medical intervention, usually involving surgery or laser procedures, can help manage and alleviate symptoms.

Early detection and treatment are crucial for preventing further damage and preserving vision.

What are the risk factors for Closed Angle Glaucoma?

The main risk factors for Closed Angle Glaucoma include age, family history of the condition, hyperopia (farsightedness). 

Specific ethnic origins, such as individuals of Asian heritage, as well as a past of eye surgeries or injuries, can be contributing factors.

What is the first-line treatment for Closed Angle Glaucoma?

The initial treatment for Closed Angle Glaucoma often involves medications, such as eye drops, to reduce intraocular pressure. 

This helps relieve symptoms and prevent further damage to the optic nerve, buying time for additional interventions if needed.

What causes Closed Angle Glaucoma?

Closed Angle Glaucoma is primarily caused by the blockage or narrowing of the drainage angle in the eye, preventing the normal flow of aqueous humor (eye fluid). 

This buildup increases Intraocular Pressure, putting pressure on the optic nerve leading to potential vision loss if not managed promptly.

How often should I have my eyes checked for Closed Angle Glaucoma?

Regular eye exams are advised, especially if you are at increased risk due to a family history of the condition or other causes. 

Your eye doctor can advise you about the right intervals based on your particular risk factors.

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