Closed angle glaucoma, also called angle closure glaucoma, is a progressive or sudden closure of the space between the cornea (the outer layer of the eye) and the iris (the colored part of the eye) that typically allows fluid to flow out. This partial or complete blockage prevents fluid from draining out of the eye, often causing a sudden spike in eye pressure. Closed angle glaucoma is a medical emergency that can significantly damage the optic nerve and cause irreversible vision loss or even blindness. Symptoms of closed angle glaucoma may include:
The standard treatment for this condition is Laser Peripheral Iridotomy (LPI).
During LPI, a laser is used to create a small hole on the outer edge of the iris to allow fluid to escape. This creates a larger angle in the trabecular meshwork of the eyes so intraocular pressure can be reduced. Although the procedure takes less than 10 minutes, we typically ask that patients remain in our office for up to 2 hours after the treatment so we can check the intraocular pressure levels. It is important to ensure that the procedure is working to protect your vision.
LPI can also be used as a preventative treatment for people with naturally narrow drainage areas in the eye.
Inflammatory eye drops will be prescribed to provide comfort during the healing process. Your eyes may feel uncomfortable and you may experience redness, light sensitivity or slight blurry vision for a few days after the procedure. These are all normal, but temporary, side effects.
If the closure reoccurs in the future, LPI may need to be repeated to reduce intraocular pressure. If this procedure is not successful, your doctor may recommend other types of treatment such as surgery to correct the closure.
To learn more about this type of glaucoma treatment in Fairbanks, Alaska contact us today to schedule an eye exam.