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Acute Angle-Closure Glaucoma

Acute angle-closure glaucoma is a medical emergency and must be promptly treated to prevent optic nerve damage and vision loss.

Eye pain ,headache, blurred vision, and nausea may occur if the pressure increases suddenly inside the eye. If you experience any of these symptoms, call your ophthalmologist (a medical doctor who specializes in eye care and surgery) immediately.

Self-Care at Home

No self-care is effective. Immediate treatment by an ophthalmologist is necessary to try to prevent further permanent vision loss.


Because you may experience temporary increases in IOP after an iridotomy, your IOP is checked 1 hour after laser treatment. A visit is then arranged for the next day. At this visit, your eye is examined, and your IOP is checked again. Your other eye will probably be examined at this time, so your eye doctor can determine if it is at risk for angle-closure glaucoma and possibly prevent its occurrence.

You should continue using the medicines that were chosen to treat the acute attack of glaucoma for 1 day after leaving the hospital or clinic following the iridotomy; after 1 day, you may stop taking these medications. To help reduce any inflammation, your ophthalmologist may also prescribe drugs called corticosteroids for 1 week following your surgery.

If a laser iridotomy is not successful in reducing the pressure, your ophthalmologist may repeat the gonioscopic examination to rule out the presence of peripheral anterior synechiae. If peripheral anterior synechiae are found, you may need a laser gonioplasty or a surgical iridotomy. Your eye doctor will discuss the next appropriate step in your treatment plan with you.


Regular eye examinations with an ophthalmologist may identify people who are at risk for acute angle-closure glaucoma. In some people who are at high risk, a laser iridotomy may be performed to prevent an attack of acute angle-closure glaucoma.


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