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Narrow Angle Glaucoma: A Complete Guide

Gina Walters


Narrow Angle Glaucoma

Narrow Angle Glaucoma is a serious eye problem caused by an increase in Intraocular Pressure (IOP).

The condition is also known as Angle Closure Glaucoma and may lead to permanent vision loss if left untreated.

Let us explore more about Narrow-Angle Glaucoma, its causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment options.

About Narrow Angle Glaucoma

Narrow-Angle Glaucoma is a serious condition that may damage the optic nerve and cause permanent vision loss if left untreated.

The condition is also known as Acute Angle Closure Glaucoma or Closed Angle Glaucoma.

A study states that  Angle Closure Glaucoma is responsible for 50% of blindness caused by Glaucoma.

In Narrow-Angle Glaucoma, one may experience an abnormal increase in their IOP due to a blockage in the trabecular meshwork. 

Trabecular meshwork: A tissue in the eye that controls the outflow of eye fluid and helps maintain intraocular pressure.

The blockage happens when the angle between the cornea and the iris becomes narrow and may stop the proper drainage of eye fluid.

The eye fluid keeps building behind the iris and may cause a rapid increase in the IOP.

Consult a doctor immediately if you experience the symptoms of Narrow-Angle Glaucoma.

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Narrow Angle Glaucoma symptoms

Blurry visionSource: zoranm_from_Getty_Images
Blurry vision

Understanding the symptoms of Narrow-Angle Glaucoma is important for early diagnosis and proper treatment. 

The common symptoms include:

However, there are two types of Narrow Angle Glaucoma, Chronic Narrow Angle Glaucoma, and Acute Narrow Angle Glaucoma.

Patients with Chronic Narrow Angle Glaucoma may experience fewer symptoms as the drainage path of eye fluid is not completely blocked. 

On the other hand, patients with Acute Narrow Angle Glaucoma may experience sudden and serious symptoms. 

Consult a doctor for a Glaucoma test and proper diagnosis. Also, the duration and severity of the symptoms may vary for everyone. 

Acute Narrow Angle Glaucoma requires quick medical attention as it may lead to permanent vision loss in a short period of time.

Causes of Narrow Angle Glaucoma

The narrowing of the eye fluid channel is the main cause of Narrow Angle Glaucoma. 

However, there are several other factors as well that may cause Narrow Angle Glaucoma or contribute to the main cause. The factors include- 

  • Iris plateau – A condition in which the iris is flat and blocks the eye’s fluid drainage. This may lead to high IOP
  • Physiological factors: Some individuals may get Narrow Angle Glaucoma as they naturally have a narrow angle between the cornea and the iris
  • Hyperopia – Farsighted people are more likely to have a narrow angle between the cornea and iris
  • Tumors and other causes – A tumor behind the iris, inflammation, and change in the shape of the eye after surgery can also cause Narrow Angle Glaucoma

Apart from the causes, some other factors can also put a person at a high risk of getting Glaucoma. 

The high-risk Narrow Angle Glaucoma include age, Cataracts, medical reactions, and more. 

Always follow your doctor’s advice and treatment plan to help manage Narrow Angle Glaucoma.

Narrow Angle Glaucoma treatment

Laser eye surgerySource: bojanstory_from_Getty_Images
Laser eye surgery

Narrow Angle Glaucoma requires proper treatment as it is a serious condition.

The treatment options include:

  • Laser Therapy: It is the most common treatment to help with Normal Angle Glaucoma. The doctors use procedures like Laser Peripheral Iridotomy (LPI) or Laser Peripheral Iridoplasty (LPIP) to create a small hole in the peripheral iris. This will help in improving the drainage of excess eye fluid.
  • Medications: Doctors may prescribe medicines alone or with other treatment options to help reduce IOP. The medicines help drain the excess fluid or reduce the fluid production in the eye.
    The prescription for Glaucoma eye drops includes Beta-blockers, Prostaglandins like Bimatoprost (Careprost), and more.
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  • Surgery: In some cases, surgery may be necessary to create a permanent iris opening or improve drainage. Surgical options include trabeculectomy and tube shunt surgery.
    A person should have regular eye checkups to detect early signs of Glaucoma and for its proper treatment.

Key takeaways

Narrow Angle Glaucoma is a serious eye problem caused by excess eye fluid buildup that may even lead to vision loss.

The Narrow Angle Glaucoma symptoms include headaches, nausea, eye pain, and more. 

On the other hand, the condition’s causes include narrow space between the iris and cornea, tumors, Hyperopia, and more.

Understanding the symptoms and causes of Narrow Angle Glaucoma may help in its effective treatment.

The treatment options include laser therapy, medicines, and surgery. 

Always consult a doctor and follow their advice to help manage Narrow Angle Glaucoma.

Frequently Asked Questions

What triggers Narrow Angle Glaucoma?

High-risk factors can trigger Narrow Angle Glaucoma. These factors include age-related changes in the eye, cataracts, specific medications, and excess eye stress. 

These factors can lead to high IOP by narrowing the angle between the cornea and the iris.

How to prevent Narrow Angle Glaucoma?

Regular eye checkup is the main step in preventing Narrow Angle Glaucoma. One should maintain a healthy lifestyle to help manage overall eye health. A healthy lifestyle includes regular exercise and a balanced diet.

How long does it take to go blind from Narrow Angle Glaucoma?

The time taken to go blind from Glaucoma is different for everyone. It depends on factors like the type of Narrow Angle Glaucoma, its severity, and treatment efficacy. An Acute Narrow Angle Glaucoma attack can occur suddenly and cause permanent vision loss within hours or days.

How common is Narrow Angle Glaucoma?

Narrow Angle Glaucoma is less common than Open Angle Glaucoma. The condition affects about 20% of all Glaucoma cases. However, Narrow Angle Glaucoma is a serious condition that requires proper diagnosis and treatment to prevent vision loss.

Can Narrow Angle Glaucoma be cured?

Yes, treatment options like medicine, laser therapy, and surgery may help cure the serious condition. The common treatment option for Narrow Angle Glaucoma is laser therapy. However, doctors may also recommend Glaucoma eye drops along with laser therapy. 

What should I avoid with Narrow Angle Glaucoma?

Narrow Angle Glaucoma patients should be careful of factors that can trigger an acute Glaucoma attack. These factors include medications, caffeine, alcohol, and stress. 

One should avoid medications like Fluoxetine, Paroxetine, and more. People should also monitor their IOP and avoid stress, caffeine, and alcohol.

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