What is Chronic Angle Closure Glaucoma?
Chronic angle closure glaucoma is damage to the optic nerve that is caused by prolonged closure of one of the main fluid drainage systems of the eye. Chronic angle closure glaucoma typically occurs in older individuals and is asymtomatic (no symptoms). Women are more commonly affected than men. Individuals of Asian descent are the most predisposed to chronic angle closure glaucoma. Caucasian patients are affected to a lesser extent, and patients of African descent are affected even less.
What causes Chronic Angle Closure Glaucoma?
Typically chronic angle closure glaucoma is the result of prolonged acute angle closure glaucoma, or repeated episodes of angle closure. The angle between the cornea (the front surface of our eyes) and the iris (the colored part of our eyes) comprises the main fluid drainage system for the eyes. Sometimes, when this angle closes, part of the iris can remain attached to the back side of the cornea. These adhesions can block the fluid from leaving the eye, and can result in chronic angle closure glaucoma.
Symptoms of Chronic Angle Closure Glaucoma:
Typically there are no signs associated with chronic angle closure glaucoma. Like other types of glaucoma, if left untreated it may result in decreased vision or loss of side vision.
Treatment of Chronic Angle Closure Glaucoma:
Surgery can be performed in an attempt to break the adhesions of the iris to the cornea, and to prevent future angle closure episodes. If the damage to the drainage system is too great, the individual may prescribed an ongoing regime of medicated drops to help lower the eye pressure following the surgery.