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Old 11-15-2016, 04:53 PM   #1
Ronnie51
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Has anyone ever had a preventive laser iridotomy?

I have narrow angles in my eyes which are getting narrower due to developing cataracts. My ophthalmologist says it's time to have a preventive laser iridotomy which is a procedure where the laser punches a small hole in your iris to allow fluid to drain. This prevents closed or narrow angle glaucoma from developing which I'm at high risk for due to my narrowing angles. Has anyone had this procedure or know someone who has? I have no idea what to expect, although the doctor did tell me the risks (bleeding, glare, pressure spikes). I'd love to hear any advice or information you may have. Thanks, everyone!
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Old 11-16-2016, 03:46 AM   #2
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Yes, I had it. It was a little uncomfortable during procedure (bright light getting close to your eye that type of thing) but I had no problem at all
They did one eye one day and the other I think a few weeks later. The only thing that hurt was that it was considered two separate surgeries and I had to pay my $500 deductible each time!!

Last edited by sarahatl; 11-16-2016 at 03:48 AM..
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Old 11-16-2016, 07:54 AM   #3
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Yes, I had it. It was a little uncomfortable during procedure (bright light getting close to your eye that type of thing) but I had no problem at all
They did one eye one day and the other I think a few weeks later. The only thing that hurt was that it was considered two separate surgeries and I had to pay my $500 deductible each time!!
Thank you for your reply, sarah. RE: your deductible...Wow, expensive. I do understand that kind of pain.

May I ask....did your doctor place any restrictions on you afterwards for a few days? I'm specifically thinking about exercise (lifting weights) and eye makeup. Thanks again.
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Old 11-16-2016, 12:19 PM   #4
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No, the doctor did not place any restrictions on me at all. Honestly it was super easy. I went to work the next day. I did not even know I had the narrow angle glaucoma until I went the they eye dr. for my yearly exam. Is that how you found out you had it?
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Old 11-16-2016, 02:42 PM   #5
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My doctor has been telling me for years that I may need this procedure because my angles were slowly narrowing due to developing cataracts. She told me at my appointment yesterday that I'm not even close to needing the cataracts removed which would open the angles. But the cataracts have caused my angles to become very narrow....so much that she said she didn't want to take the chance to dilate my eyes...so she said I need to have this procedure. She said it's strictly preventive. Did you actually have narrow angle glaucoma or was your iridotomy preventive? I do appreciate your responses, sarah. The stories I read on the Internet were quite scary.

Last edited by Ronnie51; 11-16-2016 at 02:43 PM..
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Old 11-16-2016, 02:48 PM   #6
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Ronnie-
Have you thought about getting a second opinion about this? It might help because even if the second eye doctor agrees, often having someone else explain the procedure, issues involved, etc. is helpful.
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Old 11-16-2016, 03:18 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronnie51 View Post
My doctor has been telling me for years that I may need this procedure because my angles were slowly narrowing due to developing cataracts. She told me at my appointment yesterday that I'm not even close to needing the cataracts removed which would open the angles. But the cataracts have caused my angles to become very narrow....so much that she said she didn't want to take the chance to dilate my eyes...so she said I need to have this procedure. She said it's strictly preventive. Did you actually have narrow angle glaucoma or was your iridotomy preventive? I do appreciate your responses, sarah. The stories I read on the Internet were quite scary.
Hmmmmm this was several years and honestly I don't remember them saying anything about it being preventive just that I had "narrow angle glaucoma" maybe the angles were just slowly narrowing I am not sure- I just know they recommended the surgery. I did have a second opinion because the Dr. who gave me this diagnosis was the first time I had gone to her (we had just moved) so I was a bit skeptical. The Dr. I had been going to for years never mentioned it to me. I had a second opinion from an eye surgeon (who actually did the procedure) to make sure I did indeed have this. I talked to a friend of mine who works for an eye Dr. and she said this was nothing to play around with. I also did research on the internet and yes, some of the stories are scary. I just felt my eyesight was nothing to play around with. I am glad they did one eye at a time because honestly lasering a hole in your eye did sound frightening but seriously the surgery was very easy. The part that was uncomfortable was the laser coming so close to your eye but only lasted a second. I did feel a little pressure in my head too but nothing serious. I hope this helps.

Last edited by sarahatl; 11-16-2016 at 03:26 PM..
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Old 11-16-2016, 03:21 PM   #8
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Hi Leo,
Normally I would get a second opinion but she's actually the second doctor who has told me that my angles were narrowing due to developing cataracts. I was first told about it from another doctor in the practice. In addition to that, he said that I was also at high risk for open angle glaucoma because I had slightly larger optic disc cups (my eye pressure has always been low....around 12-14 so that came as a surprise). So, he put me through 6 years of glaucoma tests and I had no change over those 6 years.....tests remained normal. I happen to HATE the visual field test that I was getting from that other doctor, and I had told him that after six years of no change, it appeared that the size of my cups was physiological instead of pathological. He said yes but now that I'm older my risk is higher anyway and continued to order the tests. So, when this female doctor joined the practice, I switched to her. This doctor agreed with me and does not require that I take that test anymore. Instead, she had high quality pictures taken of my optic nerve that she compares to her visual examinations to note any change. But she did agree with the other doctor about the narrowing angles. So when she said it was time, I believed her. Sorry for the long explanation.
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Old 11-16-2016, 03:27 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by sarahatl View Post
Hmmmmm this was several years and honestly I don't remember them saying anything about it being preventive just that I had "narrow angle glaucoma" maybe the angles were just slowly narrowing I am not sure- I just know they recommended the surgery. I did have a second opinion because the Dr. who gave me this diagnosis was the first time I had gone to her (we had just moved) so I was a bit skeptical. The Dr. I had been going to for years never mentioned it to me. I had a second opinion from an eye surgeon (who actually did the procedure) to make sure I did indeed have this. I talked to a friend of mine who works for an eye Dr. and she said this was nothing to play around with. I also did research on the internet and yes, some of the stories are scary. I just felt my eyesight was nothing to play around with. I am glad they did one eye at a time because honestly lasering a hole in your eye did sound frightening but seriously the surgery was very easy. The part that was uncomfortable was the laser coming so close to your eye but only lasted a second. I hope this helps.
Sarah, you've been extremely helpful, thank you. My doctor said that the benefits of this procedure far outweigh the risks in preventing closed angle glaucoma. Apparently, if you get an attack you can lose your eyesight in a matter of days or even hours. Thank you again. First procedure is the day before Thanksgiving! You've really put my mind at ease.
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Old 11-16-2016, 03:32 PM   #10
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Oh I am so glad that I have been of help to you. Please let us know how it goes.
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Old 11-16-2016, 03:49 PM   #11
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I will, thank you again!
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Old 11-16-2016, 04:52 PM   #12
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It sounds like you're in good hands, Ronnie.

Good luck with your procedures.
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Old 11-16-2016, 04:53 PM   #13
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Thanks, Leo!
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Old 11-23-2016, 10:29 AM   #14
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I had the procedure in my right eye. It was uncomfortable....the laser felt like a sudden sting in my eye. And afterwards....and now.....it feells like there is a piece of sand in my eye (doctor said this is normal). My pressure was okay and I didn't bleed so doctor said no restrictions. (I specifically asked about lifting weights, showering and wearing eye makeup). I'm glad DH drove me because the distance is almost 50 miles one way. When we first left, my eye felt fine because the doctor had just put numbing drops in to check my pressure, but after about 10 minutes it wore off and I had a hard time keeping that eye open because of the grittiness. So, my left eye will be done in 4 weeks, and DH will drive me again. Glad it/s half over.
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Old 11-23-2016, 11:33 AM   #15
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Thanks for the update, Ronnie. I'm glad this is working out for you.
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Old 11-23-2016, 11:44 AM   #16
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Thank you, Leo. You've always been very supportive. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
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Old 11-23-2016, 04:15 PM   #17
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Ronnie...I am glad everything went OK with you. Hopefully you will not be uncomfortable at all tomorrow. I don't recall feeling anything like grittiness in my eye. I remember using some eye drops for a while. I hope tomorrow your eye is back to normal. I drove myself home but only lived a few miles away. Have a great Thanksgiving!
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Old 11-23-2016, 04:33 PM   #18
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Thank you, Sarah, for all your help. I think I 'm just a wimp ��. I also have anti inflammatory drops that I'm supposed to use for a few days. I'm sure my eye will feel a lot better tomorrow. But even if it doesn't I don't think it will affect my appetite. ��. Happy Thanksgiving to you too!
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Old 12-07-2016, 08:58 AM   #19
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Sarah, I have a fraternal twin sister who is the polar opposite of me as far as lifestyle....I always read up on the latest in medical advances, ask questions of my doctors, research prescribed meds, watch my diet, exercise regularly. My sister is just the opposite. She has been seeing an Optometrist for years and I never felt she was getting the best care. I've told her over and over that she should be seeing an Ophthalmologist, and she never did. But now with my narrow angles and potential disastrous risks, I insisted she see one, and she did this morning. She called to tell me that the doctor said it was too risky to dilate her eyes because she too has narrow angles. She's having an iridotomy on her right eye next Tuesday and her left day the same day as I'm having mine in two weeks. She's royally pissed that her Optometrist never told her anything about narrow angles, as your first doctor never told you. She actually thanked me and said I may have saved her eyesight. BTW, when I asked her what her pressures were at the appointment, her response was "I don't know". I just can't relate to that. I told her to ask at her next appointment for the Iridotomy.
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Old 12-07-2016, 09:16 AM   #20
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Wow....that is something Ronnie! Good thing you insisted. That is really scary. I went to the eye dr. a few weeks ago (the one that diagnosed me) and when she look at my eyes she said the holes are still there and open. Apparently they can close up over time. I did not know this. Thanks for sharing your story. I wonder if this condition is hereditary?
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Old 12-07-2016, 09:25 AM   #21
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My sister's new doctor said it definitely runs in families (as open angle glaucoma also runs in families). It's anatomical, people with smaller eyes tend to have it. I did read that the holes can close up, but I don't believe it's a common occurrence (at least I hope not).

Correction to a sentence in my previous post: It should read, "and her left EYE the same day as I'm having mine in two weeks".

Last edited by Ronnie51; 12-07-2016 at 09:28 AM..
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Old 12-07-2016, 09:57 AM   #22
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Interesting! I never thought of myself having small eyes..my eyes are very light colored though.
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Old 12-08-2016, 07:22 AM   #23
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Sarah, may I ask you....does your eye doctor give you visual field tests?
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Old 12-21-2016, 08:27 AM   #24
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Sorry...just now saw this. No she does not (not sure what it is?). Does yours?

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Old 12-21-2016, 09:04 AM   #25
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Sorry...just now saw this. No she does not (not sure what it is?). Does yours?
The Visual Field Test is a test where you look straight ahead into this big bowl, and little lights flash against a light background all over and you're supposed to press a button every time you see a light flash. The lights are all different intensities, from bright to very dim. You do each eye separately. My old eye doctor in the practice always made me take this test which is used for people who have glaucoma or for "glaucoma suspects" (stupid name imo), to test their peripheral vision which is the first affected for people with glaucoma. After 6 years of taking this test with no change, I switched to the doctor I have now and she said I don't have to take it any longer. I was a suspect for what's called "normal tension glaucoma" where your pressures are normal but you still get optic nerve damage. My new doctor said that with no changes in 6 years that I don't have it, but that may change in the future if my optic nerve shows signs of changing. But then she told me that I was at risk for closed angle glaucoma and that's why I had to have the laser surgery. TMI? Anyway, I HATE that visual field test....I find it very stressful and I'm very happy that I don't have to take it at least for now.
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Old 12-23-2016, 01:19 PM   #26
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Ronnie....no I have never had this test. Very interesting!
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Old 12-23-2016, 01:23 PM   #27
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I hope you'll never need it, Sarah! Not painful, but stressful.
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