Laser iridotomy is a procedure performed using light energy. The purpose is to remove the risk for sudden or acute glaucoma. There are many types of glaucoma but sudden glaucoma can occur spontaneously or following dilation of pupils. If your eye doctor has determined by examining your eyes that you are at risk for sudden glaucoma then laser iridotomy will eliminate this risk.
Laser iridotomy is a quick, painless, and effective procedure performed in the doctor's office using local anesthetic eye drops only. Usually both eyes will need to be treated and they can be done one or both at a time. As for most types of eye exams or treatments, you should have someone bring you rather than drive yourself.
The actual procedure consists of making a small opening in the iris. The iris is the coloured part of the eye, and is located behind the cornea but in front of the lens of the eye. This opening allows a free flow of fluid from behind the iris where it is produced to in front of the iris where it drains.
The treatment usually takes about 30 seconds to one minute; however, we ask you to allow about an hour and a half as you are given drops to constrict your pupil and these usually take 30 to 40 minutes to work before the procedure. You will be asked to use an anti-inflammatory drop four times a day for three days following the procedure. If you are having one eye treated at a time, please keep these drops for following the treatment of the second eye. Once both eyes have been treated there will be a final visit with us or your with your optometrist when your pupils can be safely dilated to complete your eye exam.