Angle Recession Glaucoma | Ophthalmology | Loyola Medicine

Angle Recession Glaucoma

Overview and Facts about Angle Recession Glaucoma

Angle recession glaucoma is a condition that develops from blunt trauma to the eye. Injury can cause the fluid inside your eye to be displaced, which may cause damage that includes torn eye tissues. As a result, scarring and degenerative changes can occur, which blocks the channel that drains the fluids produced by your eye. Fluid build-up can further cause elevated intraocular pressure (pressure inside the eye), leading to angle recession glaucoma.

Not everyone who has experienced trauma develops angle recession glaucoma, but trauma may accelerate the development of glaucoma in people who are genetically predisposed to it. Delayed diagnosis or poor management of glaucoma conditions can lead to permanent blindness, and someone who’s had a traumatic incident involving their eyes should be examined by an eye specialist yearly.

Signs and Symptoms of Angle Recession Glaucoma

Angle recession glaucoma develops from an eye injury, and symptoms depend on what structures of the eye were damaged. An immediate increase in ocular pressure may be observed if blockage of the fluids occurs.

Signs and symptoms of angle recession glaucoma conditions include:

  • Elevated intraocular pressure
  • Severe headache
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Reduced visual acuity
  • Light sensitivity

Causes and Risk Factors of Angle Recession Glaucoma

The risk of developing angle recession glaucoma depends on the extent of trauma to the eye. Furthermore, people who are genetically predisposed to developing glaucoma conditions are more likely to develop angle recession glaucoma from trauma than those without a genetic disposition. This is evident in the fact that some patients will develop glaucoma in both eyes, not just the injured eye.

Tests and Diagnosis of Angle Recession Glaucoma

To diagnose glaucoma conditions your doctor will discuss your medical history, including family members with glaucoma, and perform an examination of both eyes. To differentiate an angle recession glaucoma from other glaucoma conditions, further examination of the optic nerve and additional tests will be ordered.

Anterior segment examination looks for injuries to the anterior portion of the eye, including tears, degenerated tissue, separation of tissue layers, abnormal eye movements or dislocated lenses. Gonioscopy is an observational procedure used to assess if injury has occurred to the drainage part of the eye; this test is usually performed 4–6 weeks post-trauma.

Treatment and Care for Angle Recession Glaucoma

Angle recession glaucoma is often more difficult to manage than other glaucoma conditions. Treatment options include medication, laser surgery and filtration surgery. Drug therapies primarily treat inflammation and control pain; additional medications may be recommended to suppress the production of fluids in lowering intraocular pressure.

Surgical interventions include trabeculectomy, a procedure that creates a drainage pathway to increase fluid outflow, and drainage devices, which are surgically implanted. In severe cases, cyclodestruction is used to reduce fluid production in the eye by destroying the part of the eye that produces it.