Glaucoma is often considered a silent thief of sight. The condition involves the buildup of excessive pressure within the eye. This pressure damages the optic nerve and causes irreversible vision loss. To help prevent this loss of vision, the team at Primary Eye Care Associates offers state-of-the-art glaucoma treatments.
Many patients who visit our Chicago eye care center have questions about various glaucoma treatments and which may be right for them. With that in mind, let's consider laser peripheral iridotomy and how it can help prevent glaucoma-related vision loss.
What Is Laser Peripheral Iridotomy?
Laser peripheral iridotomy is considered a first-line treatment for people who suffer from closed angle glaucoma. This procedure has been used since 1984 to help prevent glaucoma and to prevent further vision loss in people who suffer from glaucoma.
How Does Laser Peripheral Iridotomy Work?
First, let's note the structure of the eye. The angle refers to the space between the clear, topmost layer of the eye (the cornea) and the colored portion of the eye (the iris). This angle contains the trabecular meshwork, which helps direct fluid out of the eye and reduce intraocular pressure.
During peripheral laser iridotomy, a precise beam of laser light is used to create a hole on the outer edge of the iris (the colored part of the eye). This hole helps promote the flow of fluid in the eye, reducing intraocular pressure in the process.
Ideal Candidates for Laser Peripheral Iridotomy
Ideal candidates for laser peripheral iridotomy are people who suffer from closed angle glaucoma that affects at least half the eye. A gonioscopy can be performed to assess your candidacy for the treatment.
Risks of Laser Peripheral Iridotomy
Some potential risks of laser peripheral iridotomy include:
- Increased eye pressure
- Double vision
- Closure of the hole
What to Expect During Laser Peripheral Iridotomy Treatment
Anesthetic eye drops are used to reduce pain and discomfort, and other special eye drops are used to reduce the size of the pupil. As the laser is used, some patients may feel a mild yet sharp sensation, but no serious pain.
Following the procedure, patients rarely experience pain. Temporary side effects of laser peripheral iridotomy may include:
- Blurry vision
- Light sensitivity
- Red eye
- Mild headache
How Effective Is Laser Peripheral Iridotomy?
Laser peripheral iridotomy is generally quite effective, preventing vision loss or at least slowing it down considerably. However, the angle may not open successfully in 25 percent of cases. Additional laser surgery or other therapies may be recommended to help ensure proper treatment.
Is Laser Peripheral Iridotomy Right for Me?
The best way to find out if laser peripheral iridotomy is an ideal treatment for you is to stop by the practice for a consultation. We will be more than happy to go over all of your treatment options in full detail and help you make the best possible choice regarding all of your situation. Our goal is to help prevent further vision loss for as long as possible.
Learn More About Treating Glaucoma
If you would like to learn more about treating glaucoma and preventing further vision loss, we encourage you to contact our team of eye care specialists and vision doctors today. The team here at Primary Eye Care Associates looks forward to your visit and helping you with your needs.