What are Narrow Angles and Angle Closure Glaucoma

Narrow Angles & Acute Angle Closure Glaucoma

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Patients with narrow angles, also known as angle-closure suspects, have a condition where the drainage angle between the iris and cornea is narrower than usual.  

Acute angle closure glaucoma occurs when the drainage angle suddenly becomes blocked, leading to a rapid increase in intraocular pressure. This condition constitutes a medical emergency and requires immediate treatment to prevent permanent vision loss.

Understanding Narrow Angles

In patients with narrow angles, the space for fluid drainage within the eye becomes restricted, increasing the risk of elevated intraocular pressure (IOP) and resulting in optic nerve damage. While some people with narrow angles may not experience any symptoms, others may develop acute angle closure glaucoma, a sight-threatening emergency.

Signs and Symptoms of Narrow Angles and Acute Angle Glaucoma

Patients with narrow angles may not have any symptoms at all. Most times patients were diagnosed by a incidental finding from their annual eye exam. Patient’s with narrow angles are at risk of angle closure glaucoma and may experience symptoms such as:  

  • moderate to severe eye pain 
  • red eye 
  • blurred vision 
  • loss of vision
  • headaches
  • nausea or vomiting 

Seek immediate medical attention if you experience any of these symptoms, if untreated narrow angles can progress to acute angle closure glaucoma and cause permanent vision loss.

Causes of Narrow Angles and Acute Angle Closure

The causes and risk factors for narrow angles and angle closure glaucoma include:

  • Age: As people age, the risk of angle closure glaucoma increases.
  • Cataracts: as people age their cataracts grow causing more narrowing of their drainage angle
  • Race: Individuals of Asian or Inuit descent have a higher risk of narrow angles.
  • Family History: A family history of narrow angles or angle closure glaucoma increases the risk.
  • Hyperopia:  hyperopia (farsightedness), can predispose individuals to narrow angles.
  • Medications: Some medications, particularly those that dilate the pupils, can trigger angle closure in susceptible individuals.
  • Environmental Factors: Dim lighting conditions or sudden changes in light can precipitate angle closure attacks.

Treatment for Narrow Angles and Acute Angle Closure

The primary treatment for narrow angles is aimed at preventing the progression to acute angle closure glaucoma. This often involves laser peripheral iridotomy (LPI).

In cases where narrow angles are associated with cataracts, cataract surgery may also be recommended.  This procedure can help widen the drainage angle and alleviate symptoms associated with narrow angles.

Laser Peripheral Iridotomy (LPI)

Laser Peripheral Iridotomy (LPI) is a procedure for managing narrow angles and preventing angle closure glaucoma. The laser creates a small hole in the peripheral iris. 

LPI allows the aqueous humor, the fluid in the eye, to flow freely between the anterior and posterior chambers. This equalizes the pressure within the eye, preventing the iris from blocking the drainage angle and it also helps widen the angle.

Cataract Surgery as a Treatment Option

In some cases, cataract surgery may also be considered as a treatment option. By removing the cataract and implanting an intraocular lens, cataract surgery can help improve and widen the drainage angle and lower intraocular pressure, thereby reducing the risk of glaucoma progression.

Peachtree Ophthalmology- Eye Doctor Near Me in Norcross GA

Experience personalized care for narrow angles and angle closure glaucoma. Conveniently located within Norcross, GA near Peachtree Corners. We are serve by providing eye exams for patients within Gwinnett, Fulton, and DeKalb counties, our clinic is committed to delivering personalized care in a welcoming environment. 

How To Contact Us

Our eye clinic is ideally located close to the intersection of Holcomb Bridge Rd and Spalding Dr. Serving Norcross GA, Duluth, Sandy Springs, Roswell & Johns Creek.


4045 Wetherburn Way, Ste 1
Peachtree Corners, GA 30092

Phone & Fax


Office Hours

Mon - Fri: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Sat & Sun: Closed

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