If you have been diagnosed with chronic angle-closure or acute angle-closure glaucoma, laser iridotomy may be a great option for you! This procedure aims to prevent glaucoma from progressing in order to keep your vision clear for as long as possible.
Laser iridotomy is a procedure to treat chronic angle-closure glaucoma and acute angle-closure glaucoma. In order to explain these conditions, you should know what an angle is. The angle is the space between the cornea and the iris, near to where they meet at the edge of the iris. This area contains the trabecular meshwork, which is a structure that directs fluid out of the eye. In closed-angle glaucoma, the angle is closed in many areas, causing an increase in eye pressure. This can lead to damage to the optic nerve or even vision loss.
The main goal of this procedure is to preserve vision and prevent glaucoma from progressing. This is not a substitute for your glaucoma eye drops in most cases.
Prior to the procedure, the eye is usually pretreated about 30 minutes before with eyedrops to make the pupil small. Anesthetic drops will then be placed to numb the eye, and a lens is put on the eye in order to perform the laser. The laser will create a hole in the outer edge of the iris, causing an opening of the angle. This allows for fluid to flow out of the eye, reducing pressure. The treatment usually takes 10-30 minutes to complete.
In about 25% of cases, the angle may not open. If this occurs, different medical treatments, laser procedures, or surgeries may be recommended.
Following the procedure, patients may experience eye redness, blurriness, light sensitivity, or discomfort for 24-72 hours. Elevated eye pressure may also shortly occur because the iris pigment is released with the hole is created with the laser. Because of this, you will be asked to stay in the office for a short while after the procedure so your eye pressure can be checked. Most people can resume their normal activities right after treatment, not including driving.
This procedure is recommended for those who have had a closed angle for at least half of the eye and also have glaucoma or high eye pressure.
To learn more about improving your glaucoma with laser iridotomy, contact Eye Care Physicians of New Jersey today! Our knowledgeable team will be happy to assist you in scheduling your consultation appointment, as well as answer any questions that you may have.