(Acute Angle-closure Glaucoma; Single Angle-closure Glaucoma)
by Diana Kohnle
Glaucoma is an eye disease that leads to damage of the eye nerve. This nerve is needed for vision. Damage can lead to poor or no vision.
Angle-closure glaucoma (ACG) is one type of glaucoma. It is the loss of space between the iris (color disc) and front, clear part of the eye. There is an area between these two that lets fluid drain out of the eye. When the space shrinks, it becomes harder for fluid to drain. This can lead to increased pressure in the eye and damage to the nerve. ACG may be:
It is not clear why this occurs. Some, factors that play a role include:
The iris and drains can rub against each other with chronic glaucoma. This can cause damage to the drain. It will make it harder for fluid to drain well.
Medicine that may play a role include:
Risk Factors TOP
ACG is more common in older adults. Other factors that may increase your chance of developing angle-closure glaucoma include:
There are few or no symptoms with chronic ACG. Acute ACG, also known as crisis may lead to:
Chronic ACG may have had brief episodes of symptoms above. The loss of space may happen in both eyes. However, a crisis often happens in one eye at a time.
You will be asked about your symptoms and past health. A physical exam will be done. You will be referred to an eye specialist.
Tests may include:
Acute ACG will need immediate care. Pressure will need to be decreased to stop damage to the nerve. A severe loss of vision can occur if the pressure is not relieved.
Medicine can help to decrease pressure in the eye. It may be given as eye drops, pills, or IV drugs.
Surgery can help to increase space in front of the iris. It is an option for chronic ACG or acute ACG once pressure is under control. Options include:
ACG cannot be prevented.
The Glaucoma Foundation
Glaucoma Research Foundation
Glaucoma Research Society of Canada
The Canadian Ophthalmological Society
Angle-closure glaucoma. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed... . Updated Ocotber 24, 2016. Accessed August 31, 2018.
Angle-Closure glaucoma. American Academy of Ophthalmology website. Available at: https://www.aao.org/munnerlyn-laser-surgery-center/angleclosure-glaucoma-19. Updated December 18, 2013. Accessed August 31, 2018.
Angle-closure glaucoma. Glaucoma Research Foundation website. Available at:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Updated January 14, 2015. Accessed August 31, 2018.
What is glaucoma? American Academy of Ophthalmology website. Available at:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Updated April 15, 2018. Accessed August 31, 2018.
Last reviewed May 2018 by Michael Woods, MD
Last Updated: 8/31/2018
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