Treatment Options For Narrow-Angle Glaucoma

Posted on: 23 November 2020

Narrow-angle glaucoma is an ocular disorder that causes elevated pressure behind the eye. Unlike open-angle glaucoma, narrow-angle glaucoma can cause severe eye pain, headache, nausea, vomiting, blurred vision, and eye redness. If not diagnosed and treated effectively, narrow-angle glaucoma can lead to total vision loss. Here are some vision treatment options your eye doctor may recommend that may help slow the progression of your glaucoma.

Pressure-Lowering Eye Drops

Eye drops that decrease high intraocular pressure are typically prescribed for those who have narrow-angle glaucoma. Some of the most commonly prescribed eye drops are those classified as beta-blockers. These eye drops help decrease the amount of fluid that has built up behind your eyes, and while beta-blocker eye drops are generally well-tolerated, they can cause side effects such as eye irritation and blurred vision.

Rarely, beta-blocker eye drops can cause chest pain, an irregular heartbeat, and blood pressure changes. Beta-blocker oral medications are often prescribed to those with high blood pressure; however, high eye pressure caused by glaucoma is unrelated to high blood pressure, or hypertension. Beta-blocker eye drops may help slow the progression of glaucoma, and because of this, they may preserve your vision.

Laser Surgery

Another vision treatment option for narrow-angle glaucoma is laser surgery. Before your eye doctor performs laser surgery on your eyes, they will evaluate your eye pressure to determine if your eye drops have lowered your intraocular pressure low enough so that you can safely undergo your procedure.

If your eye pressure has been lowered as a result of your eye drops, laser surgery can proceed. During this procedure, the physician will make a few holes in the iris, which is the colored part of your eye. This helps facilitate drainage of the eye fluid so that it can flow normally throughout your eye, subsequently lowering your intraocular pressure.

If both of your eyes are affected by glaucoma, your doctor will perform your laser surgery on different days because you will need to wear a patch over the lasered eye while the area heals. Although pain is uncommon after the procedure, you may experience mild discomfort which can be managed with over-the-counter analgesic medications. 

If you develop eye pain, blurred vision, a severe headache, nausea, or eye redness, see your eye doctor as soon as possible. These symptoms may be associated with narrow-angle glaucoma and will need to be evaluated and treated as soon as possible. When glaucoma is recognized early on, it may be less likely to progress to total vision loss.