Narrow-Angle Glaucoma and Open-Angle Glaucoma – Overview, Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

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Disliking the eyeglasses is natural. Still, People have to wear it in case of vision loss. At times, a Loss of vision is due to the old age. However, no one thinks about the odd reasons. Except and until when you are below 50. The blurry eyesight can also be a symptom of Glaucoma. Besides, it is one of the leading causes of blindness. There are two main types of Glaucoma. The Narrow-Angle Glaucoma and The Open-Angle Glaucoma.
So, what is Glaucoma? And what can cause Glaucoma?  
Let’s understand.

About 2.2 billion people are visually impaired. Yet, the tendency of going blind is higher. Next, Glaucoma stands the third leading reason behind it. Globally, it is affecting 6.9 million people. The surprising fact is Most people don’t know whether they have it. 
Glaucoma can affect anyone. Including babies to adults over age 40. So, everyone is at risk. Especially those who possess a family history of Glaucoma.

Glaucoma – a Silent Thief of Sight

Glaucoma is a disease associated with eyes. It damages the optic nerve by asserting high pressure. A fluid called Aqueous Humor continuously forms in the back of Eye. It surrounds The cornea and iris of the Eye. The fluid circulates from the back of the Eye to the front through channels. So, any blockage in these channels can cause the fluid to grow abnormal.

The imbalance fluid increases the intraocular pressure IOP. Next, it damages the optic nerves resulting in visual impairment. Eventually, which at a certain level causes blindness. Besides, Glaucoma is known as a silent thief of sight. It has no apparent symptoms at an early stage. The pressure slowly builds up abnormal. Hence, it damages the nerves.

Causes of Glaucoma

Just as it is silent, the causes are also hard to observe. The factor which increases the pressure in Eye is not necessarily obvious. Yet, it can be a result of more than one causes listed below.

  • Excess usage of Eye Drops for dilation
  • Blockage in drainage channels in Eye
  • Low blood flow in the optic nerve
  • Intake of medicine, like corticosteroids
  • Very high blood pressure that can damage nerves

good vision depends on the optic nerve health. It is the primary connection between the Eye and the brain. But if damaged, it can cause problems. In severe cases, it leads to blindness. Therefore, it is essential to have a regular eye check-up. However, the critical stage can distort the eye connection. 
In that case, the result is visible. You will go blind or visually impaired. 
Or, You may end up with lifetime visual therapies. 

What is Open-Angle Glaucoma?

Open-angle Glaucoma is a commonplace disease. It takes a massive share in 90% of cases of Glaucoma. In this type, the iris and cornea remain open. But the problem arises when there is no drainage of fluid. The drainage channel is called the trabecular meshwork. It allows the fluid to flow smoothly. So, the drainage will not occur if it is clogged or partially blocked. 

Slowly, this causes the fluid to build pressure. The symptoms are not prominent. So, the pressure gradually damages the optic nerve. The whole process is painless. Even, it causes no vision changes at first. Still, you may lose your vision by the time it happens. That’s why it is also called Chronic Glaucoma.

What is Narrow-Angle Glaucoma?

Narrow-Angle is also known as Closed-Angle Glaucoma. Unlike Open-Angle, it is less common. It occurs when the iris clogs the drainage channel. Usually, it happens when the iris is too close to the drainage angle. It then swells out and narrows the angle formed between cornea and iris. This causes a path blockage for fluid.

Once the path blocks, the fluid pressure increases. Anyhow, It happens very quickly. The blockage doesn’t allow the fluid to circulate. Thus, the pressure can cause Acute Attack. As a result, it initiates an eye-emergency.

Narrow-Angle Glaucoma and Open-Angle Glaucoma Symptoms – Which One is Worse?

Glaucoma affects 70 Million people around the world. However, Glaucoma can always become worse. The severe damage can occur if it is untreated. If we consider the two types, both can result in visual impairment. The Narrow Angle-Glaucoma is more severe than open-angle Glaucoma. 

Narrow-Angle Glaucoma Symptoms:

In Narrow Angle Glaucoma, both trabecular meshwork and uveoscleral drain remain affected. The iris bulges out and blocks the path. It is more severe as it can cause an acute attack. The only result is the medical emergency. There are no genuine symptoms of detecting NAG. You can eventually feel;

  • Moderate to severe Headache
  • Swollen Iris
  • Constant eye Pain
  • Vomiting or Nausea
  • Blurry Vision
  • Light halos
  • Eye redness and irritation.

Open-Angle Glaucoma Symptoms:

On the other hand, Open-angle Glaucoma only affects trabecular meshwork. The Improper fluid circulations occur in OAG. It is a painless and slow process. The uveoscleral drain is clear in OAG. But the only problem that arises is with trabecular meshwork blockage. Usually, the result is high pressure in the eye. Further, which causes optic nerve damages.
The symptoms of OAG is similar to NAG. However, there is a slight change in the effected angle.

  • Slight vision loss
  • Selling in cornea
  • Static Pupil (it does not change with light)
  • Redness around the eye
  • Nausea and Vomit feeing.

Treatment of Narrow-Angle Glaucoma

The treatment of narrow-angle glaucoma is complex than Open-Angle Glaucoma. In this case, the iris is the main factor. It blocks the fluid path all of sudden. Resultantly, it creates a medical emergency. It requires immediate treatment to allow fluid movement.

The treatment is unlike the OAG. Yet, the medicinal treatment stays first. Through medicine, the attempt is to reverse the angle closure. However, it can be ineffective and unsuccessful. So, the only way left is to conduct a laser peripheral iridotomy. The laser creates small holes in the iris. Hence, the fluid comes out, and the pressure releases.

Treatment of Open-Angle Glaucoma

The only treatment of Glaucoma is to reduce IOP. The pressure continually grows with fluid production. So, the priority is to clear the drainage path. It can happen with two options. The fundamental treatment is medicinal. However, in severe cases, the only treatment id to operate the eye.

Medicinal Treatment:

To reduce IOP, the doctor advises Medicines. These include Eye Drops, Pills, or even ointment to reduce the redness. Functional medicine is an eye drop. It is an effective and more common medicine. 

Surgical Treatment:

In severe cases, the IOP blocks the channels. The effect of pressure becomes tensed over time. Therefore, the doctors may suggest you have surgery. 

Through surgery, the first option is to make a drainage path. Because the tension in the eye is critical. So, the optic nerve can be severely damaged. There are two ways to avoid such circumstances. The first one is to make a path. The other one is to destroy fluid producing tissue. In both cases, the IOP is reduced and normalized. 

Prevention of Glaucoma

To any disease, prevention is as important as treatment. By taking precautions and prevention, the condition becomes more comfortable with eliminating.

Aside from treatment, one can always prevent the progress of Glaucoma. The below-mentioned self-care steps can help in many ways. It can detect the early stages of glaucoma. Also, it can help in slowing down the progress.

Although it cannot eliminate the disease, it can help you prevent severe loss vision. So, note down the essential steps.

Eye-Examination:

The regular eye examination can help detect Glaucoma. Early detection is essential to avoid any severe damage. The AAO recommends a comprehensive eye-check. In case if you are have an eye examination

  • Under 40, every 5 – 10 years.
  • Above 40 to 54, every 2 – 4 years.
  • By 55, 1 – 3 years.
  • Above 60, every 1 – 2 years.

Family History of Glaucoma:

In most cases, glaucoma is due to inheritance. It transfers from parents to families. Hence, it is known as a hereditary disease. If your family sustains a glaucoma background, you are at high risk. There are more likely chances of you developing open-angle glaucoma.
Therefore, know your family history about Glaucoma. In the positive case, you may require frequent eye screening.

Reduce Eye pressure:

Moderate and regular exercises can help prevent glaucoma. It can reduce eye pressure. If you feel bulgy eyes, talk with a doctor. It can be due to Glaucoma pressure. So, Take the recommended exercise on a regular base.

Glaucoma Eye Drops:

Easier prevention is to take suggested eye drops. The glaucoma eye drops reduce the possibility of building high pressure. It clears the Angles drainage and lubricates the eye. Hence, eye drops can work effectively on a regular base. It works even if you no symptoms.

Eye Protection:

Wear Sunglasses or eye protection if you have a severe eye injury. The injuries often lead to glaucoma. So, it is essential to prevent high rays from entering the eye. So, always wear eye protection if you are playing or working with high power tools.

A Quick Pick: Does everyone with glaucoma eventually go blind?

Other than severe cases, Glaucoma cannot lead to permanent blindness. However, the slow visual impairment can occur. It only affects when the IOP is reduced and bring back to normal. Also, in most cases, there is no severe vision loss. Glaucoma possesses the ability to slow down the eye function. Even after the treatment, the worsening can occur by time.

Luckily, the worsening effects can be minor. So, most patients will not eventually go blind.

Final Verdicts between Narrow Angle Glaucoma vs. Open Angle Glaucoma

In conclusion, Glaucoma can cause blindness. The Narrow-Angle Glaucoma is less occurring then Open-Angle Glaucoma. In either case, you can go visually impaired. However, you can always prevent the disease. The article states a brief comparison of Narrow-Angle Glaucoma and Open-Angle Glaucoma. 

So, you can easily understand the causes, symptoms, and treatment.