YAG LASER PERIPHERAL IRIDOTOMY AND ANGLE-CLOSURE GLAUCOMA
YAG Laser peripheral iridotomy is widely used to treat angle-closure glaucoma. It is a safe and effective procedure that creates a hole in the iris, lowering intraocular pressure.
So, if you are considering laser treatment for glaucoma, you may be wondering how it works, how the procedure is, as well as the aftercare and risks involved.
WHAT IS ANGLE-CLOSURE GLAUCOMA?
We cannot talk about iridotomy without discussing angle-closure glaucoma. The angle is the space between the clear, outermost layer of the eye (cornea) and the colored part (iris), close where they meet near the edge of the iris. It contains the trabecular meshwork or drainage channels that direct fluid eye (aqueous humor) out of the eye.
Your eye doctor examines the angle with a test called gonioscopy. Closed-angle glaucoma is an eye disease that occurs when fluid flow between the iris and lens is obstructed. The fluid is trapped behind the pupil because of a pupillary block, the most common mechanism of angle closure.
As the pressure rises, the iris is pushed forward. So, the iris ends up covering the trabecular meshwork like a rubber stopper in a drain. With the eye’s drainage channels secondarily obstructed, the aqueous humor cannot leave your eye, so your eye pressure increases.
Increased eye pressure can lead to permanent optic nerve damage and permanent vision loss. The rise in eye pressure may occur suddenly (an acute attack of angle-closure) or gradually.
Risk factors for angle-closure include being female, Asian, have eyes shorter than average, family history, and farsightedness. The sooner the blockage of fluid flow between the iris and lens is treated, the less damage is produced.