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What is narrow angle glaucoma?

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Quick Answer

Narrow-angle glaucoma occurs when the iris is pushed forward and the pressure inside the eye increases significantly, according to Gary Heiting, O.D., for All About Vision. The increased pressure can cause injury to the eye by damaging the optic nerve, resulting in eye pain or vision loss over time.

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Full Answer

Symptoms of narrow-angle glaucoma include nausea, vomiting, headaches and enlarged pupils, adds Gary Heiting, O.D. Blurred vision is a common symptom, along with seeing halos around lighted objects, notes Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates. Although people with narrow-angle glaucoma experience these symptoms sporadically, the length of time that patients experience these symptoms depends on the ability of aqueous to properly drain from the eye.

People at risk of developing narrow-angle glaucoma are East Asians or Africans, women and middle-aged people, states Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates. The risk increases as people age because the lens behind the iris grows over time. People who have narrow-angle glaucoma should be careful about taking medications that can worsen the predisposition of their eyes to develop high internal pressure. Patients should receive regular eye check-ups to monitor their condition. Laser iridotomy is a treatment for narrow-angle glaucoma that involves creating a small hole in the iris to allow aqueous to flow. Although the procedure is minimally invasive, it can cause eye problems and inflammation.

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