Symptoms and Signs of Acute Angle-Closure Glaucoma

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Medically Reviewed on 7/15/2022

Doctor's Notes on Acute Angle-Closure Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a common eye condition in which the fluid pressure inside the eye rises to an abnormally high level. Angle-closure glaucoma or closed-angle glaucoma is a less common form of glaucoma in the U.S. but is very common in Asia. In angle-closure glaucoma, a portion of the entire drainage angle for the fluid within the eye becomes anatomically closed, and the pressure inside the eye increases. In acute angle-closure glaucoma, the intraocular pressure can rise very suddenly (acutely). Small eyes, Asian descent, and farsightedness are all factors related to the cause of acute angle-closure glaucoma.

Signs and symptoms associated with an attack of acute angle-closure glaucoma include

Another associated symptom is seeing haloes around lights.

What Is the Treatment for Angle-Closure Glaucoma?

Immediate treatment for angle-closure glaucoma involves measures to reduce the intraocular pressure (IOP), or pressure within the eye. This can be done with eyedrops that constrict the pupils or medications that reduce the amount of fluid in the eye. Laser surgical procedures are sometimes used after the immediate reduction in pressure to help the fluid within the eye start flowing. Often, both eyes are treated even if only one eye produces symptoms.

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Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.