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Can a cataract increase the pressure within the eye?
If a cataract becomes dense enough, it can push the iris forward and close the angle of the eye, creating a form of angle closure glaucoma known as phacomorphic glaucoma. The angle of the eye contains multiple canals, which allow constant circulation of the aqueous fluid in the eye. If these canals are closed for any reason, glaucoma develops. Removing the cataractous lens in phacomorphic glaucoma is the recommended treatment. Patients with narrow angles and cataracts may also be advised to have a cataract removed in order to treat the narrow angle glaucoma. Studies have also shown that cataract removal in open angle glaucoma patients can decrease the intraocular pressure over time.
Answered by: W. Barry Lee, MD
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