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Eye Health Center

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Angle Recession Glaucoma

Angle Recession Glaucoma Overview continued...

Although angle recession glaucoma is uncommon, it may not be readily diagnosed because the onset of symptoms is often delayed. The eye injury might have occurred a long time ago and, perhaps, has even been forgotten by the person.

Of those eyes with angle recession, very few (reportedly 0%-20%) develop glaucoma. In those that do develop glaucoma, the onset is extremely variable, ranging from immediately following the trauma to months or even many years later.

The risk of eventual progression to glaucoma is generally accepted to be proportionate to the extent of the angle recession, although the presence of angle recession alone is not a good predictor for the occurrence of glaucoma.

  • Glaucoma following an angle recession that involves less than 180° of the iris is very unusual.

  • Recessions involving more than 180° of the iris are associated with a 4-9% incidence of glaucoma.

  • Eyes with an angle recession involving more than 240° of the iris appear to be at the highest risk for glaucoma.

There are over 2.4 million eye injuries in the U.S. every year. The eye injuries that require medical care are estimated to be from 3 to 10 per 1,000 people. Traumatic injuries - whether from an accident at home, sports, assaults, or workplace hazards - are the most common cause of single-eye blindness in the U.S. Although injuries often occur to only one eye, the incidence rate of trauma to both eyes is as high as 27%.

Angle recession is one of the most common complications after eye trauma.

Worldwide, the incidence of eye trauma is similar to that found in the U.S. As in the U.S., the exact incidence of angle recession in other countries is unclear. Most reports verify that contusional injuries (direct blows to the eye) represent most eye trauma cases, but rates of angle recession and/or traumatic glaucoma are not well documented.

Because angle recession glaucoma can have its onset years after the traumatic episode, estimating the resultant visual disability is difficult. Published data of visual outcomes following eye trauma usually only describe short-term results. The long-term incidence of significant vision loss or blindness from posttraumatic glaucoma has not been reported.

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