Angle-closure glaucoma, acute: Increased pressure in the front chamber (anterior chamber) of the eye due to sudden (acute) blockage of the normal circulation of fluid within the eye. The block takes place at the angle of the anterior chamber formed by its junction of the cornea with the iris. This angle can be seen by looking at one’s eye from the side with a slit lamp. Angle-closure glaucoma is more likely to affect people born with a narrow angle. People of Asian and Eskimo ancestry are at higher risk of developing it. Age and family history are risk factors. It occurs in older women more often than others. When the pupil of the eye is wide open (dilated), the iris is retracted and thickened and it blocks the canal of Schlemm, a key component of the drainage pathway for fluid within the eye. Blocking the drainage canal of Schlemm sends the pressure within the eye shooting up. There is an abrupt increase in intraocular pressure (IOP) due to the buildup of aqueous (fluid) in the eye. The high pressure can damage the optic nerve (the nerve to the eye) and lead to blindness. The elevated pressure is best detected before the appearance of symptoms. That is why when the eyes are dilated in a doctor’s office, eye pressures are checked. When symptoms of acute angle glaucoma do develop, they include severe eye and facial pain, nausea and vomiting, decreased vision, blurred vision and seeing haloes around light. The eye in a far advanced case of angle closure glaucoma appears red with a steamy (clouded) cornea and a fixed (nonreactive) dilated pupil. Acute angle-closure glaucoma is an emergency because optic nerve damage and vision loss can occur within hours of the onset of the problem. Administering medications to lower the pressure within the eye is done first. In the past, a piece of the iris was then surgically removed in a procedure called an iridectomy to make a hole in the iris and create a channel (other than the canal of Schlemm) to permit the free flow of fluid. Today a comparable procedure can be done by laser to burn a small hole in the iris to keep the intraocular pressure within normal limits.
Angry: Pertaining to anger, an emotional state that may range in intensity from mild irritation to intense fury and rage. Anger may have physical effects such as raising the heart rate, blood pressure and the levels of adrenaline and noradrenaline.
Loss of the capacity to experience pleasure. The inability to gain pleasure from normally pleasurable experiences. Anhedonia is a core clinical feature of depression, schizophrenia, and some other mental illnesses. An anhedonic mother finds no joy from playing with her baby. An anhedonic football fan is not excited when his team wins. An anhedonic teenager […]
Anhidrosis: Lack of sweating. Anhidrosis creates a dangerous inability to tolerate heat.
Anaerobic: Not requiring oxygen. Anaerobic bacteria, for example, do not require oxygen to grow.
ANA: Antinuclear antibody, an unusual antibody directed against structures within the nucleus of the cell. ANAs are found in patients whose immune system is predisposed to cause inflammation against their own body tissues. Antibodies that are directed against one’s own tissues are referred to as autoantibodies. The propensity for the immune system to work against […]