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Acute Angle-Closure Glaucoma (cont.)

What Are Acute Angle-Closure Glaucoma Symptoms and Signs?

With acute angle-closure glaucoma, because the rise in pressure is rapid, the symptoms also occur suddenly. Understandably, people who are experiencing acute angle-closure glaucoma are extremely uncomfortable and distressed.

Dramatic symptoms of acute angle-closure glaucoma include the following:

  • Severe eye pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Headache
  • Blurred vision and/or seeing haloes around lights (Haloes and blurred vision occur because the cornea is swollen.)
  • Profuse tearing

In acute attacks of angle-closure glaucoma, it is common for only one eye to be involved and for symptoms to worsen over a few hours.

Some people may experience intermittent episodes of angle closure and elevated IOP without ever having a full-blown attack of angle-closure glaucoma. This is called subacute angle-closure glaucoma. This can also occur in a condition called plateau iris, in which the peripheral iris is located more anteriorly (toward the front of the eye) than usual.

People with subacute angle-closure glaucoma may have no symptoms, or they may experience mild pain, have slightly blurred vision, or see haloes around lights. These symptoms resolve spontaneously as the angle reopens.

When Should Someone Seek Medical Care for Acute Angle-Closure Glaucoma?

Acute angle-closure glaucoma is a medical emergency and must be promptly treated to prevent optic nerve damage and vision loss.

Eye pain, headache, blurred vision, and nausea may occur if the pressure increases suddenly inside the eye. If one experiences any of these symptoms, he or she should call the ophthalmologist (a health care provider who specializes in eye care and surgery) immediately.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/11/2017

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Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Glaucoma, Angle Closure, Acute »

Angle-closure glaucoma (ACG) is a condition in which the iris is apposed to the trabecular meshwork at the angle of the anterior chamber of the eye.

Read More on Medscape Reference »


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