Laser Iridotomy in Napa, CA

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What is Laser Iridotomy?

Glaucoma is something many people face. This condition, which leads to damage of the optic nerve, can result in vision loss or blindness if not treated. At Eye Specialists of Napa Valley, we use laser iridotomy to treat closed-angle and narrow-angle glaucoma. The angle, which is the area between the iris and cornea, houses the Trabecular Meshwork (TM). The TM guides fluid from the eye out, but if the angle is too narrow, this process cannot happen properly and can lead to elevated pressure. Laser iridotomy can treat and prevent this issue before irreversible damage occurs. We encourage you to set up an appointment with one of our talented ophthalmologists to have your glaucoma checked and see if you could benefit from laser iridotomy or other glaucoma treatments.

What Are The Benefits Of Laser Iridotomy?

When the TM is unable to function properly, fluid and pressure will build up. This can cause vision loss and other uncomfortable symptoms like eye pain, headaches, and blurry vision. The primary benefit of a laser iridotomy is improved drainage in the eye and reduce intraocular pressure, which will prevent any further damage to the optic nerve in individuals suffering from closed-angle and narrow-angle glaucoma. This will ideally help to slow or stop glaucoma from progressing. Though any lost vision will not be restored, a laser iridotomy will help preserve the remainder of your vision.

Who Is an Ideal Candidate for Laser Iridotomy?

Laser iridotomy is the treatment necessary for acute-closed angle glaucoma. Ideal candidates for this procedure are patients who are experiencing the following symptoms consistently:

  • Extreme eye pain
  • Severe headache
  • Blurred vision
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Halos or rings around lights
  • Sudden eye pain

You may also be a good candidate if:

  • There's a rise in intraocular pressure
  • You have optic nerve damage
  • Your acute-closure glaucoma has progressed

We'll work closely to identify if your eyes would benefit from a laser iridotomy treatment. Learn more about laser iridotomy in Napa, CA, and schedule an appointment.

What Can I Expect from Laser Iridotomy?

Laser iridotomy can be performed as a preventive measure to emergency treatment, making it a popular choice for people with varying degrees of narrow-angle glaucoma. Those with farsightedness, dense cataracts, or shorter eyes may be at greater risk for developing narrow- or closed-angle glaucoma and should discuss preventive measures with our Napa, CA ophthalmology team. To begin the laser iridotomy treatment, one of our skilled ophthalmologists will use an iridotomy lens to target a beam of light into your eye to make an opening in the iris. This will allow us to widen the angle and enhance the flow of fluid in the eye, relieving pressure buildup. This procedure takes minutes and is completed in one of our private treatment areas. Following your treatment, we may ask you to wait between 30 - 60 minutes so we can check your eye pressure. You may experience some light sensitivity and blurry vision for the next day or so following your procedure, but this is normal and should go away within 72 hours.

What Is the Recovery Like After a Laser Iridotomy?

Recovery from laser iridotomy is a relatively quick process. If your procedure is successful, your eye pressure will drop shortly after the procedure is finished. Our team will measure your eye pressure 30 minutes to an hour after your procedure to ensure the fluid has drained and the pressure has decreased. Immediately following the procedure, you may experience blurred vision, sensitivity to light, and mild irritation, but these effects are short-lived and will usually dissipate on their own. If light sensitivity occurs for a few days, we can prescribe eye drops to help. In general, you should be able to fully recover within a week.

Laser Iridotomy FAQ

If I have glaucoma, will I still need my glaucoma eye drops after a laser iridotomy?
Yes, you will need to continue to use your glaucoma eye drops as directed after your procedure. A laser iridotomy is not a substitute for medication used to treat glaucoma.

Does laser iridotomy hurt?
When you undergo glaucoma surgery, we always ensure that you are completely comfortable during the process. We will put a numbing solution on the eye, and you won't feel anything.

Will a laser iridotomy improve my vision?
No, this treatment is intended to prevent glaucoma from appearing or progressing further. This procedure will preserve the vision you currently have. If you have more questions about this glaucoma surgery, contact our eye specialists in Napa Valley, CA.

How long will this procedure last?
Normal age-related changes with the eye are unavoidable, but this procedure helps your vision. The procedure will take anywhere from 45 – 60 minutes. You should have a family member or friend drive you home. It is important that you schedule regular appointments so that our eye doctors can closely monitor the condition.

Maintain Eye Health

If you are looking to prevent or manage glaucoma, laser iridotomy at Eye Specialists of Napa Valley may help! For those with closed- or narrow-angle glaucoma, this treatment could prevent permanent vision loss. For more information on how you can maintain your eye health or schedule a consultation with one of our board-certified ophthalmologists, contact our Napa, CA vision practice today.

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*Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary from person to person. Images may contain models.