Maine Specialist Discusses Narrow Angle Glaucoma

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Maine Specialist Discusses Narrow Angle Glaucoma

“Given the seriousness of narrow angle glaucoma it is important for people to understand more about its risks and symptoms in order to avoid the potential for vision loss,” commented Glaucoma Specialist Robert Daly, M.D. of Eyecare Medical Group in Portland, Maine. Dr. Daly explained more about the type of glaucoma called narrow angle glaucoma. A narrow angle is an anatomical configuration in the eye that under certain conditions can result in high eye pressure. High eye pressure may lead to glaucoma. The presence of and the  diagnosis of narrow angles is not the same as a diagnosis of glaucoma as only a small percentage of patients with narrow angles actually develop narrow angle glaucoma. As with many eye conditions, problems and diseases, early detection, diagnosis and treatment can prevent the development of angle closure glaucoma,” further explained Dr. Daly.

The angle of the eye is located at the junction between the iris-the colored part of the eye-and the cornea which is clear curved dome in the front of the eye. Inside the eye-behind the iris-is a ring like structure called the ciliary body which continually produces fluid called aqueous humor. The aqueous fluid flows over the lens, then through the pupil and drains internally from the eye via the trabecular meshwork which is located at the “angle”. As long as aqueous is drained at roughly the same rate it is produced, the eye maintains a normal pressure. If aqueous cannot drain as quickly as it is made, the eye pressure will go up.

If the eye pressure goes up slowly due to too much fluid being produced or too little fluid be drained, it can result in open angle glaucoma. If the eye pressure goes up rapidly due to too much fluid being drained because the drainage angle is too narrow it can result in narrow angle glaucoma.

Dr. Daly further explained, “The crystalline lens inside the eye grows throughout life and actually increases in size. As its size increases it can move the iris forward and slowly narrow or crowd the angle. Narrow angles tend to be seen more commonly as we age and some eyes are more predisposed to narrow angles than others. Narrow angles are more commonly found in people over the age of 40, females, farsighted or hyperopic patients, and in people of East Asian, African and Inuit descent.”

“Unlike open angle glaucoma which really produces no symptoms, symptoms that the angle is closing intermittently include episodes of blurred vision, perhaps seeing halos around objects, a headache-like pain around the eye or brow and even red eye,” explained Dr. Daly. “These symptoms can sometimes resolve spontaneously and may occur periodically over days or weeks. In addition, if the angle closes and does not reopen spontaneously, you may experience nausea and vomiting,” Dr. Daly continued, “If this happens you need to call us right away and tell us you need an immediate appointment.”

If you or someone you know would like to learn more about narrow angle glaucoma or is concerned about having narrow angles, please schedule an appointment by calling Eyecare Medical Group, 53 Sewall Street, Portland, Maine 04102 at 888-374-2020 or visiting Eyecare Medical Group or facebook.com/eyecaremedicalgroup to schedule an appointment.