Closed angle glaucoma 09/09/2013
Glaucoma is an eye disorder that is generally characterised by a pathological increase in intraocular pressure due to a lack of drainage of the aqueous humour, although this is not the only reason, and its common ultimate condition is an optical neuropathy characterised by the progressive loss of optic nerve fibres and changes in its appearance.
The number of people presenting this illness is high as its incidence ranges from 1.5 % to 2 % among those over forty years of age. It's one of the main causes of irreversible blindness in the world.
Glaucoma has different risk factors but one of the main ones is high intraocular pressure, although there is no exact correlation between glaucoma and intraocular pressure as some people may develop the illness with intraocular pressure levels considered normal while, on the other hand, high rates of pressure are detected without any glaucomatous repercussions occurring in the eye.
One typical consequence of glaucoma is the loss of visual field, detected using a campimeter. Loss of vision due to glaucoma first affects the peripheral part of the visual field. If the illness is not treated, the visual field will gradually and increasingly shrink, the central part will darken and, finally, it will degenerate into total blindness in the affected eye.
The vision lost due to glaucoma is irreversible but the right treatment can prevent this or at least reduce its progression.
Closed angle glaucoma
This is an ophthalmological emergency. There is a reduction in the iris-cornea angle, comprising the angle between the root of the iris and the cornea. Its course is normally acute, with a sudden increase in intraocular pressure, sharp pain, reduced visual acuity, seeing halos around lights, reddening of the eye (red eye), pupil dilation (midriasis), nausea and vomiting.
This acute process often occurs when the pupil dilates which, in people with a closed iris-cornea angle, causes a blockage in the trabecular meshwork on the outside of the iris. This situation requires urgent, immediate treatment.