What is a Laser Iridotomy?
In the healthy human eye, aqueous ocular fluid flows smoothly between the lens and the iris and then filters through the trabecular network located where the iris and cornea meet. When this flow is blocked or slowed, fluid buildup can increase eye pressure and lead to optic nerve damage. This common vision threat is called glaucoma, and it is the number one cause of blindness in persons 60 years of age and older. Thankfully, patients who regularly visit their eye doctor and catch glaucoma early have many effective and innovative treatment options available to them, such as a laser peripheral iridotomy. Performed by our ophthalmologists in Boca Raton, FL, a laser iridotomy is a procedure that reduces eye pressure by creating a small opening in the outer edge of the iris where fluid can escape and drain. To learn if a laser peripheral iridotomy at Clewner & Kelly Eye Center can help improve your eye health, contact our office to schedule a consultation.
What Are the Benefits Of Peripheral Iridotomy?
If you have glaucoma, laser peripheral iridotomy may be an option. This treatment is popular among our patients for a variety of reasons. Some of the main benefits of this optic nerve treatment include the following:
- Relieve excess eye pressure
- Prevent vision loss
- Prevent fluid and pressure buildup at the back of your eye after lens implantation surgery
- Quick procedure (takes about 10 – 20 minutes)
- Low risk
Who is a candidate for Laser Peripheral Iridotomy?
You may be an ideal candidate for Laser Peripheral Iridotomy if the space between your eye (cornea) and the colored part (iris) is closed or angled. If so, your eye may be experiencing increased eye pressure. The increase in eye pressure can cause optic nerve damage or possible vision loss when left untreated. If you've been diagnosed with chronic angle-closure glaucoma or acute angle closure glaucoma, you may be a good candidate for laser iridotomy in Boca Raton, FL. Talk to our team to learn more about the options available to you. We look forward to helping you learn more about your vision so you can make an informed decision about your ocular health.
How is a Peripheral Iridotomy Performed?
A laser iridotomy is typically performed as an outpatient procedure and takes approximately 5 – 10 minutes to complete. Before your procedure, a member of our team will administer anesthetic drops to numb the surface of your eyes and minimize your discomfort. Next, a lens is placed over the eye to enhance laser precision. Our glaucoma specialist will then use the laser to create a small incision in the outer edge of the iris. Recovery time following the peripheral iridotomy is typically very short, and you should be able to resume normal activities relatively quickly. After the procedure, we will provide aftercare instructions, as well as monitor your healing progress and intraocular pressure during several follow-up appointments.
What Can I Expect When Recovering From Peripheral Iridotomy
You can expect a somewhat simple recovery process after your peripheral iridotomy. Following your treatment, we'll check your eye pressure and may prescribe eye drops to help reduce swelling or soreness. It is not uncommon to experience symptoms such as red, itchy eyes or light sensitivity. This is normal and should clear up quickly. We will schedule a follow-up appointment (or more) to check the pressure of your eye and ensure you're healing properly.
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"Dr. Kelly always reviews my chart carefully, even though I've been his patient for several years. His explanations are clear, and he doesn't offer false hope that some conditions (glaucoma) can be cured. That makes for confidence in him. He has a great bedside manner. "- Anonymous / Healthgrades / Feb 04, 2023
Peripheral Iridotomy FAQ
Does the laser iridotomy cause pain?
Anesthetic eye drops will be administered to you in order to help you feel more comfortable during your procedure. Some patients report a foreign body sensation in the eye following the procedure, but this symptom should subside within a day.
How long after a laser iridotomy can I drive?
Following a laser iridotomy with our Boca Raton, FL eye specialists, you will need to wait about 2 – 3 days before driving. We also suggest wearing sunglasses once you do resume driving, as your eyes may feel irritate and sensitive to light for several days.
How effective is the peripheral iridotomy?
For the majority of patients, the peripheral iridotomy can effectively create a space for fluid to escape and drain, lowering eye pressure and slowing the progression of glaucoma. In the instances where the surgery proves ineffective, or if eye changes such as the formation of cataracts or normal eye aging close off the space again, more options for managing your glaucoma can be discussed with your ophthalmologist. In some cases, the iridotomy laser procedure can be repeated. In other cases, medications or other surgeries may be more appropriate.
Advanced Treatment For Glaucoma
When left unchecked, glaucoma can significantly impact your vision and pose a serious danger to your overall quality of life. Fortunately, partnering with an ophthalmologist to monitor and manage your glaucoma exponentially decreases your chances of vision loss. Our board-certified ophthalmologists at Clewner & Kelly Eye Center are skilled in helping to treat all stages of glaucoma and have demonstrated exceptional proficiency in performing the peripheral iridotomy and many other innovative procedures designed to help slow the disease progression. To connect with a laser iridotomy doctor in Boca Raton, FL, please contact our office to reserve a consultation.