Treating Patients with Acute Angle-Closure Glaucoma

Treating Patients with Acute Angle-Closure Glaucoma

Anne D. Walling

(Canada–Canadian Family Physician, February 2000, p. 303.) When the trabecular meshwork is blocked at the junction of the cornea and iris, the resulting rise in intraocular pressure can reach dangerously high levels and damage the optic nerve. Acute closed-angle glaucoma occurs most frequently in eyes that are structurally predisposed to pupillary blockage. With age, the lens enlarges and the anterior chamber of the eye becomes narrower, setting the stage for blockage of aqueous humor circulation. Acute attacks of glaucoma are usually precipitated by dilation of the pupil by medications or dark environments. Pain is initially restricted to the eye but can become generalized throughout the head. Blurred vision and rainbow lights may result from corneal edema. In severe attacks, patients develop nausea and vomiting. Pilocarpine drops may be used to constrict the pupil and reestablish circulation of aqueous humor. Surgery remains the definitive choice to treat the condition and prevent recurrence.

COPYRIGHT 2000 American Academy of Family Physicians

COPYRIGHT 2000 Gale Group