Narrow-angle glaucoma occurs when the angle between the cornea (the clear window of the eye) and the iris (the colored portion of the eye) is narrow, which is usually the result of having a small eye. The drain for fluid outflow is located at this angle. With a narrow-angle, the movement of fluid within the eye will push the iris into the drain, causing a blockage of fluid outflow. It is important to treat narrow-angle glaucoma before the iris completely blocks the rain. Once this type of glaucoma is diagnosed, treatment is recommended as soon as possible. Narrow-angle glaucoma is almost always treated with laser.
In narrow-angle glaucoma, the laser is used to make a microscopic opening in the iris, call an iridotomy. This opening permits an easier flow of fluid from the back to the front of the eye allowing the iris to move away from the drain. This laser successfully eliminates the problem in the majority of cases.
The eye will be anesthetized with drops before the procedure is started so there is minimal if any, discomfort to the patient. Most patients do not complain of pain during the procedure. Laser therapy usually takes less than 5 minutes to complete. Individuals with a brown iris (a brown iris is thicker) generally require more treatment to produce the desired opening for narrow-angle glaucoma.
After Laser Therapy
Immediately following the procedure, you may receive drops in your eyes to help stabilize and comfort the eye. You should know that your eye may be slightly red, mildly irritated and the vision blurred for approximately 1 to 2 days following your treatment. The eye pressure can be somewhat unstable after laser therapy because of the surgery itself.
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Meet Your Glaucoma Care Specialists
Jeffrey S. Schwartz, MD is the first full-time board-certified, fellowship-trained glaucoma specialist in Pinellas County. He has been with The Eye Institute since 1988. His practice is limited to diagnosis, treatment, laser therapy, and surgery of patients with glaucoma and other related diseases. Dr. Schwartz completed his residency at The University of South Florida and his glaucoma fellowship at the prestigious Jules Stein Eye Institute at UCLA. He is active in medical research and has made major contributions to the treatment and management of glaucoma. Dr. Schwartz is certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology, He serves as the medical consultant to pharmaceutical companies in the search for more effective glaucoma medications. Dr. Schwartz is on the Board of Directors and is the Medical Consultant for the Lighthouse of Pinellas and has served as the Medical Director for a number of health care plans.
Sandra M Johnson, MD is a fellowship-trained specialist who has been on the faculty of several of the most renowned educational institutions in the United States; Dartmouth, University of North Carolina, and the University of Virginia. She joined The Eye Institute of West Florida after 20 years of experience in all aspects of glaucoma. She follows patients as their primary glaucoma caregiver as well as seeing patients as a consultant to other eye care professionals. She is skilled in the medical, laser, and surgical management of the disease. While working as a clinician-educator, she wrote scientific papers and chapters and contributed to many eye meetings. Since 2006, she has cultivated an interest in international ophthalmology and served ORBIS, as a volunteer eye faculty in many foreign countries.
Siddarth Rathi, MD, MBA, is a nationally recognized glaucoma specialist and physician innovator. He is the former Director of Teleophthalmology and Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology at NYU Langone School of Medicine. Dr. Rathi completed his graduate medical studies at Boston University and M.B.A. at Harvard Business School. His residency was completed at the NYU Medical Center and Glaucoma Fellowship at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute – a world-renowned Institution. While attending school, Dr. Rathi received various awards to his acclaim. He was awarded the American Glaucoma Society Mentoring for the Advancement of Physician-Scientists Grant Award. Over the course of his career, Dr. Rathi has published articles in peer-reviewed journals, secured grant funding, and presented at national and international conferences. Dr. Rathi’s interests include artificial intelligence in medicine, telemedicine, and big data analytics. He spends his free time with his family and enjoys traveling.