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Closed-Angle Glaucoma

Closed-angle glaucoma (CAG) is an eye disorder in which the colored part of the eye (iris) and the lens block the movement of fluid between the chambers of the eye. Closed-angle glaucoma is also called angle-closure glaucoma.

The blockage of fluid causes pressure to build up in the eye. This causes the iris to press on the drainage system (trabecular meshwork) of the eye. The increased pressure can cause damage to the optic nerve, which leads to vision loss and possible blindness. CAG can happen suddenly, or it can develop slowly over time.

Acute closed-angle glaucoma may cause sudden blurred vision with pain and redness, usually in one eye first. It can be an emergency situation that needs immediate medical care to prevent lasting damage to the affected eye. Treatment may include medicines to lower the pressure in the eye (intraocular pressure, or IOP), monitoring of the drainage angle, and possibly surgery. The opposite eye is usually examined too and eventually treated, because the condition is likely to affect this eye.

CAG that develops slowly is called chronic closed-angle glaucoma. It happens when scar tissue forms between the iris and the drainage system.

Last Revised: February 28, 2012

Author: Healthwise Staff

Medical Review: Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Christopher J. Rudnisky, MD, MPH, FRCSC - Ophthalmology

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