Acute narrow angle glaucoma is one of the two basic types of glaucoma. It is also known as angle closure glaucoma. This is the most serious type of glaucoma. Fortunately, it affects less than 10% of all patients suffering from glaucoma. In majority of patients the problem is inherited. The condition predominantly affects farsighted elderly people. Women are more prone to acute narrow glaucoma.
In acute narrow glaucoma the problem develops once the pressure inside the eye increases. This can be damaging to many eye structures (the retina, optic nerve etc.) and even cause loss of vision.
How does Attack of Acute Narrow Angle Glaucoma Develop
This type of glaucoma affects people who have rather shallow space between the cornea and the iris. The angle created by the cornea and the iris is in normal people open and can accept the fluid which runs inside the eyeball and drain it properly. However, in patients suffering from acute angle glaucoma the fluid cannot be drained due to very narrow space between the cornea and iris and this accumulation of the fluid consequently leads to increase of intraocular pressure resulting in complications. The pressure inside the eyeball rises rapidly which also causes rapid development of the accompanying symptoms and signs of the disease.
Symptoms and Signs of Acute Narrow Angle Glaucoma
This medical condition is very painful. The pain is simply explained by rapid and sudden increase in intraocular pressure. If there is only partial blockage of the draining system the patients may experience warning signs such as blurred vision and the appearance of colored halos around lights. Once the drainage is completely stopped all the patients complain about severe pain and the affected eye becomes intensively red. Apart from pain patients may also feel nausea and vomit. Acute narrow glaucoma is considered a medical emergency and requires prompt treatment. Only if the treatment starts on time potential complications such as loss of vision can be prevented.
Treatment for Acute Narrow Angle Glaucoma
A peripheral iridectomy is a most suitable treatment for acute narrow angle glaucoma. Namely, in this procedure a new opening is created in the iris and it allows proper draining of the ocular fluid and prevents its buildup. The procedure is generally performed on both eyes since people who have had the attack are highly likely to have one more due to predisposition.
It is essential to diagnose the disease even before the attack and treat it properly. If the condition is left untreated the pressure inside the eyeballs damages the optic nerve and other parts of the eye.