Narrow Angle Glaucoma and Treatment
Each time your eye doctor examines you, they check the drainage tissue in the angles of your eyes to see if they are wide open or narrow. Patients with narrow angles are at risk for angle closure glaucoma, a type of glaucoma that occurs suddenly and can cause rapid vision loss.
Angle closure glaucoma happens when your iris is pushed or pulled forward, causing a blockage in the part of the eye where your aqueous humor (eye fluid) drains out. This blockage causes a sudden rise in your intraocular pressure (eye pressure) which can cause severe and rapid damage to the optic nerve. If not treated quickly, this could result in permanent blindness. This is considered a true eye emergency requiring immediate treatment by an ophthalmologist. Symptoms for this include eye pain, headaches, pain, halos around lights, redness, and nausea and vomiting.
To prevent vision loss from narrow angle glaucoma, patients are often treated before they develop symptoms of angle closure. Treatment for narrow angles is the same treatment used for angle closure glaucoma – a Peripheral Iridotomy (PI).
A PI is a laser procedure which creates an alternate pathway for aqueous fluid to flow (fluid inside the eye) which allows the angle to open and decreases risk for elevated eye pressure and angle closure glaucoma. The laser is done in the office and patients are able to leave following the procedure.