There are many different forms of glaucoma. Angle closure glaucoma is just one of them and is fairly rare. It is also known as closed angle glaucoma, acute glaucoma, acute angle closure glaucoma, and narrow angle glaucoma. Angle closure glaucoma is characterized by a sudden increase in intraocular eye pressure (IOP), often in only a matter of hours, which can cause severe eye pain, nausea, vomiting, blurry vision and headache. This sudden increase in IOP occurs because the angle between the iris and the cornea is not as wide and open as it should be. So when the pupil enlarges too much or too quickly, the outer edge of the iris bunches up over the drainage canals.
If you have developed angle closure glaucoma or your eye doctor – optometrist or ophthalmologist – believes you to be at risk for this condition, Laser Peripheral Iridotomy (LPI) is most often the first line of treatment.
What is Laser Peripheral Iridotomy (LPI)?
First described and used in 1956, and commonly used in wide clinical practice since the early 1880’s, LPI attempts to deepen the anterior chamber and to try to open a narrow angle. Before the procedure, drops are sometimes used to make the pupil small (30 minutes before surgery) and anesthetic drops are placed to numb the surface of the eye (right before surgery). Then, a laser is used to create a small hole in the outer edge of the iris, increasing the size of the angle and allowing fluid to flow more freely. The entire procedure usually takes 5-10 minutes and some patients may experience minor discomfort, blurry vision, or a foreign body sensation in the eye. These symptoms are usually transient and are gone within a few hours to a few days.
This procedure does NOT CHANGE the vision. In other words, it does not make the vision better or worse – It is intended to PRESERVE vision and prevent acute angle closure glaucoma from occurring or progressing. LPI is commonly recommended for eyes which have the angle closed or occludable for at least half the available 360 degree drainage channel, called the trabecular meshwork. This is determined in the office using a test called gonioscopy.
Angle Closure Glaucoma Treatment in Annapolis, Maryland
The Anne Arundel Eye Center, led by board certified ophthalmologist Dr. Samuel Boles, is a regional leader in the diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma. Staffed by caring and knowledgeable professionals, AAEC’s state-of-the-art treatment center is dedicated to making the best eye care accessible to everyone. Dr. Boles and the staff at AAEC have helped preserve thousands of patients’ vision. They can help you too.
If you have any questions, please contact Dr. Boles, Dr. Nicole Kershner, Dr. Kathryn Turner, and the eye care specialists here at AAEC by calling 410-224-2010. AAEC is staffed by caring and knowledgeable professionals who will help guide you on your healing journey.