Glaucoma, acute angle-closure
Increased pressure in the front chamber (anterior chamber) of the eye due to sudden (acute) blockage of the normal circulation of fluid within the eye. The block takes place at the angle of the anterior chamber formed by its junction of the cornea with the iris. This angle can be seen by simply looking at someone's eye from the side. Angle-closure glaucoma tends to affect people born with a narrow angle. People of Asian and Eskimo ancestry are at higher risk of developing it. Age and family history are risk factors. It occurs in older women more often than others. When the pupil of the eye is wide open (dilated), the iris is retracted and thickened and it blocks the canal of Schlemm, a key component of the drainage pathway for fluid within the eye. Blocking the drainage canal of Schlemm sends the pressure within the eye shooting up. There is an abrupt increase in intraocular pressure (IOP) due to the buildup of aqueous (fluid) in the eye. The high pressure can damage the optic nerve (the nerve to the eye) and lead to blindness. The elevated pressure is best detected before the appearance of symptoms. That is why when the eyes are dilated in a doctor's office for a refraction, eye pressures are checked. When symptoms of acute angle glaucoma do develop, they include severe eye and facial pain, nausea and vomiting, decreased vision, blurred vision and seeing haloes around light. The eye in a far advanced case of angle closure glaucoma appears red with a steamy (clouded) cornea and a fixed (nonreactive) dilated pupil. Acute angle-closure glaucoma is an emergency because optic nerve damage and vision loss can occur within hours of the onset of the problem. Administering medications to lower the pressure within the eye is done first. In the past, a piece of the iris was then surgically removed in a procedure called an iridectomy to make a hole in the iris and create a channel (other than the canal of Schlemm) to permit the free flow of fluid. Today a comparable procedure can be done by laser to burn a small hole in the iris to keep the intraocular pressure within normal limits.

Medical dictionary. 2011.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Acute angle-closure glaucoma — Increased pressure in the front chamber (anterior chamber) of the eye due to sudden (acute) blockage of the normal circulation of fluid within the eye. The block takes place at the angle of the anterior chamber formed by its junction of the… …   Medical dictionary

  • Angle-closure glaucoma — This condition can be acute or chronic. It consists of increased pressure in the front chamber (anterior chamber) of the eye due to sudden (acute) or slowly progressive (chronic) blockage of the normal circulation of fluid within the eye. The… …   Medical dictionary

  • Glaucoma, angle-closure — Increased pressure in the front chamber (anterior chamber) of the eye due to sudden (acute) or slowly progressive (chronic) blockage of the normal circulation of fluid within the eye. The block takes place at the angle of the anterior chamber… …   Medical dictionary

  • Angle-closure glaucoma, acute — Increased pressure in the front chamber (anterior chamber) of the eye due to sudden (acute) blockage of the normal circulation of fluid within the eye. The block takes place at the angle of the anterior chamber formed by its junction of the… …   Medical dictionary

  • angle-closure glaucoma — noun glaucoma in which the iris blocks the outflow of aqueous humor closed angle glaucoma can cause a rapid buildup of high intraocular pressure that results in permanent visual damage in a couple of days • Syn: ↑acute glaucoma, ↑closed angle… …   Useful english dictionary

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  • glaucoma — n. a condition in which loss of vision occurs because of an abnormally high pressure in the eye. In most cases there is no other ocular disease. This is known as primary glaucoma and there are two pathologically distinct types: acute and chronic… …   The new mediacal dictionary

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