What is Peripheral Iridotomy Laser?
Peripheral iridotomy laser is used to prevent an acute angle-closure attack in patients with anatomically narrow angles. “Anatomically narrow angles” is a term used to describe the shape of the drainage angle of the anterior chamber of the eye. Narrow angles are caused by certain anatomical conditions, such as having a shorter than average eye, being far-sighted, or having a growing cataract that gradually narrows the angle over time.
Patients with narrow angles are at high risk of developing acute angle closure, which is a medical emergency that can result in permanent vision loss if not addressed immediately. Acute angle closure occurs when aqueous humor movement from behind the iris to the front of the eye is blocked; this causes the pressure behind the iris to push against the meshwork and stops all aqueous outflow. This usually occurs in darken rooms when the pupils are dilated, resulting in elevated eye pressures.
During an eye exam, your ophthalmologist will check your angles to ensure at least half of the trabecular meshwork is visible; if more than 50% is obscured, a peripheral laser iridotomy is recommended.
What to Expect during a Peripheral Iridotomy?
First, the eye is anesthetized with numbing drops, and an anti-inflammatory is also given. A contact lens is then placed on the eye and a laser beam is aimed. During the procedure, multiple laser shots are given into the iris to create a drainage hole. The surgery itself is not painful but patients may experience slight discomfort or feel a “pop” type of sensation. Eye pressure is re-checked afterward.
What are the Side Effects of Peripheral Iridotomy?
After the laser treatment, you may experience mild blurry vision, discomfort, and/or a foreign body sensation in the eye. These symptoms are usually transient and resolve within hours to a fe
w days. You will also be prescribed a steroid regimen for a few weeks to ensure the hole stays open and functional. Although the surgery is usually successful, some patients will still require additional eye drops or laser treatment.
Request an Appointment in San Jose or Gilroy, CA
If you are in need of SLT or you have been experiencing vision problems, schedule an appointment at South Bay Retina today. Our own Dr. Narain is an experienced ophthalmologist, retina specialist, and surgeon. Call (408) 294-3534 for our San Jose and Gilroy office. You can also schedule an appointment online, using the button below.