Laser iridotomy treatment is used for preventing spikes in intraocular pressure (IOP) in cases of acute closed-angle glaucoma. Laser iridotomy helps relieve pressure within the eye by attempting to “open” a “narrow” angle. During this procedure, the laser is used to create a tiny opening in the peripheral rim of the iris to allow fluid to flow between the front part of the eye (anterior chamber) and the area behind the iris (posterior chamber). This opening allows fluid to drain more normally.
Before the laser iridotomy procedure begins, patients will receive two sets of medicated eye drops. The first is to make your pupils constrict (become smaller) so that the iris is stretched, which makes it easier for the laser to create an opening. The second set of drops isan anaesthetic to numb the eye. Next, a lens will be placed on your eye to reduce movements like blinking. Once ready, the laser is used on the outer rim of the iris to create the opening. Some patients describe the sensation as feeling a slight shock, but this is painless and is quickly completed.
About an hour after treatment, the patient’s eye will be examined to measure the reduction in eye pressure.
Laser iridotomy takes approximately 10 minutes to complete and is performed on an outpatient basis. Patients are free to return home immediately after receiving treatment. It is recommended that someone accompany patients on the day of treatment to provide them with a ride home afterwards.
Recovery after Laser Iridotomy Treatment
Patients may feel a slight headache after undergoing laser iridotomy treatment. This will pass within a couple hours. The eye may feel irritated, have redness, and suffer from blurry vision for the first a few days afterwards.
Patients will be provided with a prescription of medicated eye drops to use after treatment. It is very important that patients use these eye drops as directed by theophthalmologist.
Patients may resume their normal daily activities the day after receiving laser iridotomy treatment.
Any patients experiencing pain or very blurred vision should call Calgary Retina Consultants immediately or go to the emergency room at their nearest hospital.
Your ophthalmologist will schedule a follow up appointment within 1 to 2 weeks to measure eye pressure. Additional appointments may be scheduledwithin 4 weeks to assess the results of the treatment and determine if follow-up rounds of laser iridotomy treatment are necessary.