As a glaucoma specialist in Las Vegas, Dr. Peter DeBry often sees patients who are seeking a second opinion after receiving a diagnosis of a narrow angle. A narrow angle is a common condition related to the size and shape of the eye, and is a risk factor for developing an increased eye pressure. To review eye anatomy – there is a fluid called the aqueous that circulated within the eye. This aqueous is produced by the ciliary body, circulates within the eye, then drains away through the trabecular meshwork. The trabecular meshwork is located near the outer edge of the iris. This small space called the “Angle” has an upper boundary of the cornea (clear window of the eye) and a lower boundary of the iris (colored part of the eye), with these structures coming together like the sides of a triangle. There is usually plenty of space for the fluid to pass next to the iris and out through the trabecular meshwork.
In some people the eye is shaped differently and the drainage area is very narrow. Under certain circumstances, such as dim illumination or stressful situations, the drain can completely close off. When this occurs the fluid continues to be produced and the pressure inside the eye increases over minutes to hours. This is considered an attack of angle closure glaucoma.