• Should I have a laser peripheral iridotomy because I travel often?


    Question:

    I have an acute closed angle (a rare form of glaucoma when pressure within the eye can rise very quickly). I am 86 years old. My intraocular pressure (IOP) is 13 mm Hg. My optic nerve is not damaged or discolored. I go on a lot of cruises and worry about a high IOP attack during these trips. Should I move forward with a laser iridotomy for safety reasons? 


    Answer:

    I don’t think you really have an acute closed angle. My guess is that you have a narrow angle (when the colored part of your eye is pushed too far forward), and are at risk for an acutely closed angle (or acute angle closure glaucoma attack). If your ophthalmologist has evaluated your eye and recommended a laser peripheral iridotomy (LPI), you should take that recommendation seriously. Personally, I do have a lower threshold for recommending laser peripheral iridotomies in those who travel extensively and who may find this aspect of modern health care periodically out of reach.


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