Angle-Closure Glaucoma

(Acute Angle-Closure Glaucoma; Single Angle-Closure Glaucoma)


Glaucoma represents a group of eye disorders that may cause damage to the optic nerve due to high intraocular pressure. Glaucoma is a degenerative eye disease. Angle-closure glaucoma is a condition in which the iris in the eye shifts and blocks the exit passageway of the fluid in the front compartment of the eye. This fluid blockage causes a rapid build-up of pressure in the eye.Angle-closure glaucoma is an emergency condition that requires immediate medical treatment to preserve vision.
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The exact cause of angle-closure glaucoma is unknown. However, factors that play a role in causing the disease include:
  • Narrowing of the drainage angle in the eye—Aging and being farsighted are 2 causes of this narrowing.
  • Injury to the eye
Sometimes certain medications can cause sudden angle-closure glaucoma. These include:
  • Adrenergics
  • Anticholinergics
  • Botulism injections around the eye
  • Sulfa-based drugs
  • Phenothiazines and monoamine oxidase inhibitors
  • Medications to treat Parkinson disease

Risk Factors

Angle-closure glaucoma is more common in older adults and in Asian people. Other factors that may increase your chance of developing angle-closure glaucoma include:
  • Family history of narrow angle glaucoma
  • Injury to the eye
  • Eye drops used to dilate the eyes
  • Certain systemic medications
  • Developing cataracts


Patients with narrow angles experience few or no symptoms until the disease has progressed to an acute angle-closure attack. Symptoms may include:
  • Severe pain in the eye
  • Pupil not reacting to light
  • Blurred or cloudy vision
  • Sudden vision loss
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Redness and swelling of the eye
  • Headache

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