Angle Closure Glaucoma

Baltimore Washington Eye Center, Maryland

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Angle-Closure Glaucoma

In the world of ophthalmology, there are several diseases/conditions that rank as true emergencies.  These include chemical injury, ruptured globe, central artery occlusion, and retinal detachment. Another emergency is angle closure glaucoma.

Angle closure glaucoma is a form of glaucoma whereby the eye’s pressure rapidly rises due to a blockage of the normal drainage system inside the eye. This can cause blurry vision, haloes around lights, pain, headaches, nausea, red eyes, and vision loss. According to the National Eye Institute (NEI), "This is a medical emergency. If your doctor is unavailable, go to the nearest hospital or clinic. Without treatment to improve the flow of fluid, the eye can become blind in as few as one or two days."

Symptoms of angle closure glaucoma include:
  • Symptoms appear and disappear in early stages; steadily worsening
  • Decreased vision
  • Cloudy vision
  • Sudden, severe pain most often in one eye
  • Eye feels swollen
  • Red eyes
  • Halos around lights
  • Nausea and vomiting
It is not unheard of for people to suffer bouts of angle closure that come and go. Here is an incredible story about one person’s experience with what turned out to be angle closure glaucoma. Risks factors include farsightedness and a family history of this condition. Fortunately your Ophthalmologist can tell you if you are at increased risk for this type of glaucoma.