What is an iridotomy?
An iridotomy is a procedure performed by YAG laser or argon laser to make a small opening in the iris in order to open an alternative passageway for the aqueous humour (colourless fluid) between the rear and front of the eyeball. This ensures the drainage of the fluid through the normal anatomic ducts if fluid evacuation is insufficient or it has become blocked.
The narrowness or blockage of the drainage area means that the aqueous humour accumulates inside the eyeball, causing ocular hypertension. This problem might end up damaging the optic nerve and causing glaucoma if not detected and treated in time.
Eye diseases treated by iridotomy
An iridotomy is recommended to prevent or treat closed-angle glaucoma, avoiding a sudden peak in hypertension due to the complete blockage of aqueous humour. If the angle formed by the iris and the cornea –the area through which this fluid is drained– is narrower than usual in your eye, there is a greater risk of a blockage that could have devastating consequences for your vision.
Whereas glaucoma does not often have any symptoms and progresses silently, a severe attack of glaucoma causes sudden vision loss, red eye, eye pain, halos around lights, and even nausea and vomiting. The damage caused to the optic nerve in very little time is irreversible and, therefore, the early detection of a narrow ocular angle is important.