Angle-closure glaucoma is an eye condition that causes a sudden increase in intraocular pressure. While less common than other types of glaucoma, it is still serious. Side effects include headaches, blurred vision, nausea, and vomiting. Left untreated, angle-closure glaucoma can lead to blindness. Therefore, prompt treatment is necessary.
Drs. Eric Del Piero and Leland Rosenblum offer a wide range of services at Monterey County Eye Associates, including angle-closure glaucoma treatment. We have locations in Monterey, CA, Salinas, and King City.
How Angle-Closure Glaucoma is Different
Angle-closure glaucoma, also referred to as narrow angle or acute glaucoma, is much rarer compared to other types of glaucoma. The primary characteristic of this disease is how quickly it causes the pressure inside the eye to increase. This condition develops when the drainage canals in the eyes become blocked. This can happen if the outer edge of the iris covers the drainage canals – something that may occur when the pupil enlarges too quickly. Sudden pupil enlargement can be triggered by:
- Stress or excitement
- Certain medications, including antihistamines and antidepressants
- Walking into an extremely dark room
- Eye drops designed to dilate your pupils
Symptoms of Angle-Closure Glaucoma
For individuals with angle-closure glaucoma, symptoms can come on quickly. These warning signs may include:
- Eye pain
- Blurry vision
- Rainbows around lights (especially at nighttime)
Angle-Closure Glaucoma Treatment
There are three primary treatments for angle-closure glaucoma. These include:
- Eye drops: In some cases, eye drops can effectively reduce intraocular eye pressure. These medications cause your pupil to become smaller. As a result, the iris moves away from the drainage canals, opening up the blockage.
- Iridotomy: This procedure can equalize eye pressure in the event of an acute angle-closure glaucoma attack. During the procedure, a small hole is created in the iris to prevent it from covering the drainage areas. Iridotomy can be performed conventionally or with a laser.
- Iridoplasty: Also known as gonioplasty, this procedure widens the anterior chamber angle in front of the iris. Like an iridotomy, this can be performed using a laser or with traditional surgery.
- Topical steroids: Pilocarpine is a steroid that can be administered to open up the angle and alleviate pressure.
- Lens removal: Though this procedure was originally performed on those with cataracts, removing the lens helps open the angle and fosters a dramatic reduction of intraocular pressure.
Proactive Treatment for Optimal Results
Many patients want to know if they need to have both eyes treated if the condition is only present in one. Because angle-closure glaucoma is a serious condition, many ophthalmologists recommend treating both eyes as a precaution.
In most cases, angle-closure glaucoma treatment is quite successful and long-lasting. However, the best way to maintain optimal eye health is to visit your ophthalmologist for routine eye exams. During these visits, our doctors can monitor your eyes and detect any potential issues early on.
Contact Us for More Information
Glaucoma, in any form, is a serious disease. Treating the condition promptly and effectively can prevent more serious issues from developing. To learn more, schedule a consultation at Monterey County Eye Associates. Contact us online or call us at (831) 424-1150.