Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases, the main feature of which is increased intraocular pressure, which ultimately leads to decreased vision and optic atrophy. Glaucoma is characterized by type: open-angle and closed-angle. Open-angle glaucoma is the most common disease, which affects about 90% of all patients with glaucoma, but angle-closure glaucoma is considered an extremely rare form that develops most often in people after 30 years of suffering with hyperopia. The peculiarity of angle-closure glaucoma is that the intraocular pressure rises very quickly with it, and external irritants such as dim light or eye drops can provoke a blockage in the circulation of the drainage fluid. The eyeball with closed-angle glaucoma hardens quickly, and pressure causes severe pain and blurred vision.
Causes of angle-closure glaucoma
The exact cause of angle-closure glaucoma has not yet been established by researchers, but it is noted that in patients with glaucoma, the area between the iris and cornea, where the fluid should be excreted, is narrower than in healthy people.
To avoid the development of glaucoma, doctors recommend that you be extremely attentive to people before using any medications. Many modern drugs increase the risk of developing angle-closure glaucoma, in particular tranquilizers, which are recommended in the treatment of depressive conditions and some mental illnesses. Therefore3, you should carefully read the instructions for use of the drug, and if it is indicated there that it can contribute to an increase in intraocular pressure, it is recommended that you first consult with your doctor and ask for a safer analogue.
Symptoms of angle-closure glaucoma
Angle-closure glaucoma has many different symptoms. The first alarming sign that you should pay attention to is the appearance in the eyes of pain of varying intensity, which is accompanied by blurry images. Around the light sources, the patient can observe rainbow circles. The symptoms are especially pronounced at dusk and in the dark, and after sleep they usually go away. If such symptoms are found, it is recommended that a person immediately undergo an examination with an ophthalmologist for the presence of a disease.
A severe attack of angle-closure glaucoma is accompanied by very high pressure, lasting for several hours. At the same time, the patient experiences very strong pains that extend to the area of the eyebrows and temples. Such attacks are most often observed in only one eye. The sick eye turns red, vision immediately drops and the image becomes blurred. In rare cases, the patient may experience nausea and vomiting – in such cases, emergency hospitalization of the patient is necessary.
Diagnosis and treatment of angle-closure glaucoma
The disease is diagnosed on the basis of patient complaints, as well as tonometer readings. Quite often, a complex of symptoms in angle-closure glaucoma creates certain difficulties in the process of making the correct diagnosis. The doctor needs to make a differential diagnosis and exclude the presence of acute conjunctivitis in the patient, swelling cataracts, acute iridocyclitis, as well as an acute attack of secondary glaucoma.
The treatment of angle-closure glaucoma is operational – thanks to modern laser techniques, a small hole can be made in the iris of the eye to ensure fluid drainage. Laser intervention helps prevent the occurrence of such attacks and thereby cure the disease. If laser therapy does not produce the desired results, surgery is appropriate.