What are Narrow Angles?

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  • You may hear your eye doctor refer to your eye’s angle. This is the anatomical angle formed between the iris and the cornea. Combined with the trabecular meshwork, the structure below the iris, this forms the drainage canal for fluid inside the eye. Drainage of fluid is critical for maintaining proper pressure inside the eye. When the eye’s angle is narrow, it can limit the outflow of fluids, which causes fluid to back up, increasing pressure in the eye. High eye pressure can damage the optic nerve, causing a condition called glaucoma, which may result in vision loss. This can happen gradually or suddenly. If it occurs suddenly, the eye’s drainage channel becomes completely blocked and pressure rises rapidly. This is an acute angle closure attack and requires immediate attention from a medical professional in order to prevent permanent vision loss. Many people who have narrow angles do not have high pressure or glaucoma; however, narrow angles are a risk factor for angle closure. People with smaller eyes or who are farsighted are more likely to have narrow angles. Depending on the degree of your narrow angle, your doctor may consider you to be a “glaucoma suspect” and as such, may recommend monitoring your eye through regular exams or taking preventative measures to lower your risk of glaucoma. This may include eye drops to lower eye pressure or a procedure called laser iridotomy, which creates another pathway for fluid to drain. Talk to us today to discuss the best option for your eye care.

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