Unlike open angle glaucoma, which is asymptomatic and causes a slow deterioration in vision and visual field loss, narrow angle glaucoma, or angled closure glaucoma, is often very painful and can cause irreversible vision loss in a few days.  Fortunately only 10% to 15% of glaucoma is classified as narrow angle glaucoma.  Asians and Eskimos have a higher prevalence of narrow angle and angle closure glaucoma than other ethnic groups.  People that are far sighted, or hyperopic, normally have shorter eyes and are also at a higher risk.  In narrow angle glaucoma, the front chamber of the eye is smaller, or shallower, than the average person allowing for the possibility of the iris or the colored part of the eye to block fluid from accessing its normal drainage system.  If this blockage occurs “known  as acute or, angle closure glaucoma” the eye pressure sky rockets causing pain, redness, and blurred vision, with possible nausea and vomiting.  This is a true ocular emergency and, if is not treated immediately, vision loss is likely to occur.  Treatment involves lowering the eye pressure medically and then using a laser, or very strong focused light energy, to place a small hole in the iris under the upper eyelid to create, in effect, a bypass canal.  Angle closure particularly occurs after papillary dilation, which is possible as the result of using certain over-the-counter and prescription medications, both orally and as eye drops.  A normal eye examination with a special test called gonioscopy will allow the doctor to determine if you have narrow angles.  People with narrow angles can have a simple laser treatment as prophylaxis against angle closure.  Most patients that have had a prophylactic laser treatment do not require eye drops or additional laser.  This procedure is called a laser peripheral iridotomy.  Fortunately the doctors at Visual Health and Surgical Center have all the necessary equipment to both diagnose and treat narrow angle glaucoma.  For further information, please visit the below link for an animated video program discussing narrow angle glaucoma.