Lasers Burned A Hole In My Eye ~ Iridotomy ~

MyEye

I recently had my 3rd iridotomy, no I don’t have 3 eyes. Apparently the first hole in my right eye closed, so back to the eye Dr. I went to have it opened back up. Or maybe they just put another hole next to the first, I should of asked. I do know that having blue eyes helps the Dr. see the blood vessels. My Doc says that it makes it easier not to hit a blood vessel when he uses the laser. Yippy! A real bonus for having blue eyes.

If you read my post glaucoma ~ just poke me in the eye or the update then you know that I have glaucoma. To treat my glaucoma I get a procedure called SLT or Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty. I don’t have to use expensive and irritating eye drops, at least not yet, hopefully never.

About 6 months ago my Dr. told me my angles are narrow and I should have an iridotomy. My first thought was great another eye surgery. Then I thought, why do I need this. My eye pressure was with-in normal limits for me. Did my angles just get narrow? Or have they always been narrow. Is he (my Dr.) making this stuff up. Is this a new theory put out by the laser companies so they could make more money? I wasn’t really sure if I wanted to have this preventative procedure done. Is it really going to make a difference in my long term eye health and vision?

I  researched everything I could find, and decided  it was probably a good idea (for me) to have the iridotomy done. Remember you should do your own research to see if it is right for you. I may never know for sure if I really needed to have it done, but I didn’t really want to find out the hard way. I also had to remember that with every surgery there can be bad side effects, and in this case the worse thing is I would be blind. I have faith and trust in my Doctors knowledge and skills so I trusted his recommendation.

What is a preventative Laser Iridotomy

Having an iridotomy when you have “narrow angles” is a procedure to help prevent a sudden increase in eye pressure. I think of “narrow angles” kind of like a hose being bent so the water can’t get through. The rapid increase in pressure causes severe pain, and can make you go blind in a matter of hours if not treated.

Laser iridotomy uses a very focused beam of light to create a hole on the outer edge, or rim, of the iris, the colored part of the eye.

My Personal Experience

I’m sitting in the hallway of the laser surgery suite at my eye doctor. My eye has been numbed and I am trying to stay calm. Boy that numbing  medicine burns at first. There are 4 other people waiting as well. We’re all looking at each other making quiet nervous chit chat. All of us seemed to have glaucoma. All of us had been to this room before.

The first person goes in and the door shuts. About 7 minutes later they walk out with a Kleenex in hand. Oh boy, it’s my turn now. I go in and another drop is put into my eye. Then the CONTACT, at least that is what they call it. They put this thing in your eye to hold the lid open and make the part of your eye they need visible. The only reason the contact weirds me out  a little is because I have seen it used on other people in the past. It makes your eye nice and big. You can feel the DR. moving the contact around but it doesn’t really hurt it just feels funny (at least that is my experience).

The next thing you do is put your chin on a chin rest and your forehead against a forehead rest. The assistant holds the back of your head so you don’t pull away or move. I’m always worried I’m going to move my eye in the wrong way and they will zap the wrong part. Thank goodness that has never happened to me yet.

Now my heart starts to pick up speed and I’m thinking let’s just get this thing over with. I stare at the red or was it green light and zap, zap, zap. It’s over.

My Doc puts in another drop, this time a steroid to help with inflammation. I will continue this for 5 days 3 times a day. I stand up and take a deep breath. I’m handed a tissue for my tearing eye and I walk out the door with my post-op instructions.

I suggest having someone drive you. It feels good right after just to close and rest your eyes. I had no trouble with my vision and no real pain just a slight uncomfortable sensation.

To this day, oh gosh, it has been around 3 months since the repeat iridotomy and I’ve had no problems that I’m aware of. My pressure remained the same or lower. My eyes have always been very sensitive to light and glare so I can’t tell if it’s any worse or it’s just normal for me.

My words for you

Always do your own research to find out more about any surgical procedure. Ask your Doctor as many questions as you want and need answered. It’s their job to answer your questions.

Risks

The greatest risk of laser iridotomy is an increase in intraocular pressure. Usually, the IOP spike is transient and of concern to the surgeon only during the first 24 hours after surgery. Encyclopedia of Surgery “iridotomy

Your physical health can be a factor with how well you will respond to the surgery. Especially if you have diabetes, hypertension, bleeding disorders etc.

Other iridotomy surgery risks include:
Double Vision
Trouble with Glare
Bleeding
Blurred vision
horizontal lines in your vision
loss of vision

I hope this blog and my experience will help you or someone you love be more informed so you can make a better decision. Remember this is my personal experience and your experience can be much different. This surgery in a way is very quick and easy, but can have some very negative outcomes if not done correctly or your body reacts badly.

Feel free to leave a comment about your experience, the good and the bad. I would personally like to know how others responded to their  iridotomy. Your experience may help others make their decision about having this procedure.

Sincerely,

Tamara

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125 responses to “Lasers Burned A Hole In My Eye ~ Iridotomy ~

  1. I went to the doctor yesterday 8/27/09 and I was suprised by how people were hereded in and out like cows at this office. Everything was rushed. When I finally got to see the doctor he basically said I needed an iriditotomy and if I didn’t have it I’d go blind. He said afterwards I’d never have to worry again about the pressure in my eyes. He told me of no side effects. He’s supposed to be the best around, but after doing research online I’m hesitant to have this done. I’m supposed to have it done 9/4/09

  2. Sharon,

    I’m sorry for the way you were treated at your eye DR. You didn’t mention if you have glaucoma or how you ended up at this Dr. Although my Dr. has a very busy office and my time with the Dr. is brief he always gives off the impression like he is not rushed. That is in my opinion a very valuable skill.

    A few things concerned me from your comment.
    1. If you don’t have this done you will go blind.
    Did the Dr. offer any reasons or explanation, or time frame?
    2. Are your pressures in your eyes very high or did they just find you have narrow angles?
    3. You will never have to worry about your pressures in your eyes again. (That is not true). What if the holes close up as mine did. I would be very concerned if that is exactly what the Dr. said.

    I definitely would check with another Dr. However, if you have very high pressures you do need treatment ASAP. Damage can occur very quickly causing vision loss.

    If the Dr. can’t or won’t take the time to answer questions then you should be concerned.

    My concerns about this surgery is it’s an easy money maker. It takes a few minutes to do and the Dr. makes a good chunk of money.

    There is also not a good way for the patient to really know if they need the surgery. I still don’t know if I really needed it. And I don’t know if I will ever have it again if the holes close up. I will have to wait and see. But I can guarantee one thing I will ask “many” questions next time. I do trust my Dr. and his skills. I also have never felt like he was trying to do surgery when it was unnecessary. So I had to trust his judgment and expertise.

    My Dr. did not offer a lot of side effect information either. I think he gave me a brochure or something. There definitely can be side effects. Problems with glare being top on the list. You read the other possible side effects on my blog. It also can make a big difference on results depending on your general health status and age.

    I hope this helps. If you want to share your decision and how things turned out just bookmark the address to this blog so you can get back to it or copy this link https://flyingkitten.wordpress.com/2009/08/11/i-just-had-a-hole-poked-in-my-eye-iridotomy/

    Sincerely,
    Tamara

  3. Cool site, love the info.

  4. oh wow, i didn’t know anything about this. thanks for sharing the info and your personal experience

    • Thanks Nikki for checking out my blog.

      • I went in for a regular yearly eye exam. Two seconds later Im told I have a macular hole, its normal, and need surgery with three different procedures or Id loose my eye sight. Since the surgery Ive jad two episodes of extreme pain in that eye, but its hard to see any of those doctors. To hear they earn a chuck of change is one reason the doctor probably never called back. Light sensitivity, however the whole is closed. The Nitrous Oxide Bubble left to desolve is taking a long time to go away, but at least I’m not on my stomach flat anymore? Also whats going on with these horizontal hazy-white lines in the eye? Its like the eye has healed and the pressure went from 27 the day of surgery to 9 to now 13 I believe. Okay supposed to be good? Definitely need a new prescription. Eyesight went from 20/20 to almost not seeing over the summer. Getting better, but not quite 20/20 yet.
        Physician’s tell next to nothing about your surgery, what to expect, etc. Being off six weeks to recouperate was a shock. However from August to now October has to be a better time than the summer months. Thanks all for your comments.

  5. Tamara — thanks so much for this post! I just had the procedure done on both eyes. I’ve always had glare issues so don’t know if that’s worse or not. One side effect that I’m hoping will fade with time: horizontal hazy-white lines in both eyes. In the left, I see it all the time, esp when looking at a light source like a computer screen.

    I’ll be linking to your post in my own write-up on Blatherings.com today.

    Debbie

    • Hi Debbie,
      Thank you for your comment. Sorry to hear about some of the issues you have with eyes. Hopefully in time they will get better. Also thanls for sharing my link. I feel it’s important to share info. Hopefully it will help others.

      Warm regards,
      Tamara

    • Hi Debbie:
      Just curious, I am a Filipino descent with a black-brown iris, how many times did your doctor zap your eyes? How long has it been from your surgery? Did the horizontal disappear or is it getting bigger you think? I just had mine done yesterday and I believe my doctor zapped me 18 times total, but most of the zaps were cauterization (not really sure)… Anyways, I am seeing a faint horizontal line but only if I am looking at a light source directly, like my computer monitor, other than that I can’t hardly see them. But I only had my right eye done and preparing for my left eye to be done next week. Any input from you would be greatly appreciated….Thanks Angel S

  6. Thanks for sharing your experience! I’m glad you had a good outcome. I need an iridotomy to reduce risk from narrow angles, but was frightened about it after reading others horrible outcomes. Perhaps it depends on the positioning of the hole? I’m thinking about rescheduling the procedure after I learn a little more.

    • Hi Joanne,
      I think it’s a good idea to learn more if you feel uncomfortable about the procedure. I also think it depends on the positioning of the hole and how clean the hole is. No rough edges or flaps. It’s a very tiny hole but if it has rough edges I think it would have to be bothersome. That’s just my thought not anything I have read. Not sure if a “clean” hole is the result of a skilled DR. or the condition of the patients eye. My optometrist told me I had nice clean holes LOL.
      Good luck to you. Oh and FYI, still no problems with my iridotomy.

  7. Thank you, Tamara for answering the questions about iridotomy. My eye specialist insists that I have this procedure done, and now, or I will someday be faced with terrible pain upon waking and will need to be rushed to the hospital for surgery! My eye pressure was always normal and I do have narrow angles. I had to take cortisone shots for knee pain and had an eye exam scheduled for the next day. My pressure was high at that point, 19 and 20. That was the only time my pressure was off. I have it checked every 3 months and it’s been consistently low, 11 and 12, When I asked why my pressure has been normal now for the last year and a half he said that those things happen but I need to be concerned about possibly going blind from returning high pressure. He also told me that there were no side effects from this procedure, however I knew that there were from my research on the net. When I told him I need time to think about this he turned and walked out of the exam room. I will continue to have my pressure checked every 3 months and try to avoid being pressured into surgery without good reason.

    • Jean,

      You’re welcome, I’m glad my post helped you a bit. I’m also glad you took your time and did your research. Getting pressures checked is also very important.

      Thank you for taking the time to write to me, I appreciate very much.

      Happy Holidays,
      Tamara

  8. Hey Tamera-
    Thanks for posting this info. There is a lot to think about before going through with this procedure. I was told recently that I need it also due to my narrow angles. I have 20/20 vision and 13-14 pressure (iop). I do not have glaucoma and my optic nerve is nice in size (small) and pink. I couldn’t image going from what I think is “normal” to ruining my site with an elective procedure and having double vision or lines or countless other issues like the many horror stories we’ve all read about. You could cut off your toe so that you may never stub it also. But geez… I think it’s a profit center for eye doctors because it’s so quick and easy. You sure do hear a lot about it anymore even though narrow angles are supposed to be somewhat rare. Where’s the hard facts? Of the people with “narrow angles” what percentage will have an acute attack? At what race? What sex? What AGE? Was it “blinding”? Lifestyle? I say wait until you see signs of pressure or halos or SOME indication, but keep your eye visits to twice a year to be monitored. OR wait until you’re 60+ and your life’s demands are a bit different than a 40 year old in their prime earning years.
    Quick question for you though, I was told by my Ophthalmologist that the holes would be 8 o’clock and 4 o’clock. Where did they put yours?

  9. Hello Stu, I also have many of the same ? you mentioned. I still don’t know if I would have it done again. To answer your question about the location of the holes in my eyes. I believe they are at 11 o’clock and 1 o’clock. I’m very thankful I don’t have any problems because of the Iridotomy. Can’t even tell I had the procedure done. Thank you for your comment.

  10. Hi i was just googling side effects of having this surgery done
    I’ve done it a few days ago for Implantable Contact Lense surgery
    And actually now I am sufferiing from side effects caused by this
    iridotomy surgery.I see white and half invisble horizantol line
    moving upsidedown whenever I blink my eyes
    this is so annoying .did you ever experience this after the surger?

    • I did not have that problem, however some people do. I hope your lines start going away. Maybe as your eyes heal it will. Thank you for the comment. I hope all is getting better for you.

  11. I have experienced about a 2 week period where I saw halos around car lights and while looking out my windshield straight ahead was clear but everyting around it seemed hazy- my optomerist said I have narrow angle closure but no pressure and about 2 mths after I saw a good opthamologist and he says I have narrow angles as well and want to do the preventative procedure for me because I have only one good eye- I have a lazy left eye that I cannot read or drive wth and only really have peripheral vision in. I am so scared my vision in my good eye will be blurry or hazy or with the lines- he wants the good eye done first but I am thinking bad eye first to get used to the experience. I hate having my eye held open! do the numbing drops work well? I may have always had narrow angles because I hadnt been to an eye dr since about age 11 and then at 39 needed glases for my good eye for distance and am 42 now and have bifocals…

    • Hello Jacki,

      For me the numbing drops worked very well. They do sting a bit when they put them in. My Dr. holds my eye open with a large contact thing that he can move around. It did not hurt and the procedure is very quick, at least for me.

      I’ve had no problems from the procedure. The only thing was the hole in my right eye closed up and I had to have the procedure done a 2nd time. For me the anticipation of having the surgery was much worse than the actual procedure itself.

      I hope this helps a little. Good luck!

      Tamara

      • I just had laser surgery done to both eyes for narrow angles even though my pressure was in the normal range. After 2 weeks my left eye healed over and I had to do the laser surgery over. Hope this doesn’t happen to my right eye. The procedure was not painful but the waiting was daunting. I was quite apprehensive and almost did not go through with it. I have no other side effects.

      • Hello Jean,

        Thank you for leaving a comment. I think it will help others with the same problems.
        I’m glad you didn’t have any other side effects. I also had one eye heal over. Had to have it redone in right eye. No problems with either eye now. The holes are still open.

        Tamara

  12. betsy hamilton

    I was told that I need to have this procedure done and I am scheduled for this week. I am concerned with the side effects that are possible and they said that i shouldn;t drive right after the procedure, however i get car sick so I need to drive the 23 miles home like it or not. so I was wondering if I will have such blurry vision that i won’t be able to drive because I will have to cancel the surgery adn take my chances

    • Hello Betsy,

      Each person is different. I probably could have driven myself after the surgery. My eyes were not blurry, but the sun was a bit of an annoyance. For me it was nice to just close my eyes and relax on my 45 minute drive home. For you that would be hard to do if you get car sick.

      I did not have any side effects from the surgery. Just went to the eye Doctor May 3rd and all was good.

      I wish you well,
      Tamara

  13. Hi Tamara,

    Thanks for sharing your experience. Here’s another experience to add to the pot, should people be doing their own research. I don’t have glaucoma, but I do have a narrow angle. The doctor suggested that I have the preventative irodectomy/irodotomy done. Like you, I did my research, also I got a second opinion. I came around to the conclusion to have it done. I had the right eye done last week and go for the left this week.

    In my case, three different drops were put into my eye as I waited, and I was told that one of them might give me a headache-like pain over the eye, in the brow/forehead. I did experience a tightening in that area, but just as I was told, it subsided after the procedure. Oh, and the doctor used two different lasers on my eye, the first to cauterize the area and the second to make the hole.

    Post op I was prescribed, and I am using as directed, fluorometholone eye drops. The only aftereffect that I am having is I feel like I have eye muscle strain in that eye when I am on the computer. (It gets worse the longer I am on, so, yeah, duh, turn it off. 🙂 And, related, lights exacerbate that ache, although I don’t have any glare or ghosts. Acetaminophen and rest alleviate the ache, but I will ask the doctor about it.

    Oh, and from what I’ve read and have been told by the doctor, narrow angle is more prevalent in those of Asian descendent. And in those who are not Asian, it is more prevalent in shorter people. I’m a 5’8″ Caucasian woman. hmmm (Then again, when I was a little girl and had to have an appendectomy, the doctor couldn’t find my appendix because it was behind some organ where it shouldn’t be. Makes me wonder what other anomalies are going to show up in my body as the years roll on. 🙂

    • Hi Alison,

      Thank you for sharing your experience. I do think people should do their own research. I also know you have to be careful when you do. I think it’s important to at least have a general understanding of the procedures that are being performed.

      I’m glad that so far you are doing OK. I still have not had any negative side effects from the procedure. As of a few weeks ago my pressures and the holes in my eye are all good.

      I’m curious about the 2 laser use. Did the Dr. Say he cauterized first and then poked the hole? I know that sometimes they can hit a blood vessel, especially if you have dark color eyes. Makes it hard to see the vein.

      One of my eyes only needed 1 zap and the hole was made. The other eye needed several zaps.

      Feel free to come back and leave an update. This post continues to be read by many people.

      Warm regards,

      Tamara

  14. Tamara, Thanks for the response. The doctor cauterized first with one type of laser, then moved me to another laser, where he made the hole. I do have brown eyes, but he said they were great, not too dark. Regardless, perhaps the cauterization is his standard preventative process. Alison

  15. I’ve been been I need this procedure done in (both eyes). I’m 50 yrs. old and have always had poor eyesight. Nothing has changed recently except that during my eye exam (at the beginning of this year, at an optometry school) I was told I had narrow angles. I had not been told this before and there is no glaucoma or narrow angles (that I know of) in my family. I was rechecked three months after my first exam & was told the angles may be a bit narrower and I should have the procedure. I am apprehensive, to say the least, to have the procedure but also a bit scared not to. I am concerned with scare tissue afterwards and the chance that it may have to be redone which would cause even more scaring.
    I haven’t found much convincing evidence to push me to go ahead to have the procedure but I am still considering it. I’m surprised and glad to find this site just to know what other’s experiences have been.
    I’m curious if there is ANY way to help the situation except for the laser surgery (eye exercises, diet, stop wearing contacts or anything other than surgery). I would feel better knowing that I’ve tried everything I could before choosing surgery. If anyone has heard of anything, I would love to hear about it. Thanks to all of you for sharing your experiences.
    Mindy

    • Hi Mindy,

      Sorry it took me a bit to respond. I’m not sure if you have decided to go ahead with the surgery. As far as I know diet, or contact wearing won’t change the angle. As far as my surgery goes I felt the same way. I had never been told my angles were narrow, and I have worn glasses since I was 2. Then one day at my regular exam for glaucoma I was told my angles were narrow and I should have surgery.

      I’m lucky because I didn’t have any problems after the surgery. The only thing was one of the holes closed so I had to have it done again.

      Good luck with your surgery if you decide to have it. And thank you for commenting.

      ~Tamara

  16. I read this site before my procedure, and contacted my ophthalmologist with questions about the side effects mentioned. He assured me that there should be no side effects and that he sends approx 25 people per years for this procedure, never having any complaints after.

    The procedure itself was nothing as I expected, and as mentioned in a previous post the anticipation was worse then the actual procedure. I felt nothing for the first eye, and a slight “flicking” feeling five or is six on the second. No pain at all. Wore sunglasses the rest of the day as it felt like I was walking on the sun, but no other issues.

    The next day I started to notice a whitish vertical line…which as I open my eyes (each blink) moves for the bottom of my eye upwards, stopping about a third of the way from the bottom. I don’t notice it in my house, or at night but notice it outside all the time, and at the office under florescent lights.

    I saw the specialist again today for the follow up (two weeks after procedure) and when I mentioned this white light he acted as though he didn’t hear me at first. I asked again after the exam to which his reply was “well you shouldn’t notice anything as it is a pinhole under the lid so no light would get in there”. End of comment. I said again I DO see this…he ignored the comment at first then just said “it may go away, I don’t know”.

    I am not impressed with the response. And was sorta shocked, therefore couldn’t come up with a reply to him.

    I don’t regret having the procedure. If it happens to close, which it understand can happen, I will not be afraid or anxious to have it again. Better than the alternative, which could be emergency surgery or total loss of vision.

    For anyone reading that is making the decision to have this procedure, please believe me when I say don’t be afraid of the actual procedure. I have never had surgery or a broken bone. I didn’t sleep for days before this was scheduled due to anxiety and fear. The simple thought of someone working on my eyes made me nauseous. After it was done I walked out feeling sorta silly as there really was nothing to it. Literally, nothing.

    All the best to others out there. Before I was told of this issue, and the required laser I didn’t know anything about it. This site, and others were very useful for me…although I didn’t want to believe I should not be afraid.

    Now I can say seriously, don’t be afraid.

    • Hi Shelly,
      Did you get used to the white lines yet? I got my LPI last week and began seeing this faded white line. The doctor did warn me about it but just dismissed it saying that everyone gets used to it over time. I am due to my next LPI on my left eye and I am afraid that it will give me the same effect. I am seeing him today and I will ask him if there’s another techniques that might help minimize the probability of getting these aberrations. Please pray for me, and thank you for sharing. Angel S

      • Hi Angel,

        I’m not sure if Shelly will see the comment you made to her so I thought I would respond. As far as the white lines go… They should cause you less trouble or disturbance after time. I’m told they have a tattooing procedure that will help eliminate the white line problem if it is too troublesome. I hope your lines fade soon so you don’t have to worry about tattooing.

        Good Luck!
        Tamara

      • Thanks Tamara, I believe it’s getting better. .. I’m such a hypochondriac that I kept on thinking that things are just gonna go downhill. I’m hoping though that this is going to last for a long time and will keep me from any form of acute angle attack. My IOP was a bit high when I came back for my post op exam yesterday. It was at 19, but forgotten that the steroid drops I am on can raise our eyes IOP too, that’s why they are specific about 4x a day for only few days, steroids can keep from infections but not good if used longer. My ophthalmologist didn’t think it was something to worry, after surgery my IOP was 15 then prior to steroid drops. I’m a bit anxious for Thursday but I do believe that God allowed me to find out my condition before it became a problem that he willl guide me and heal me through this. Thanks again 🙂

  17. Hello Tamara, I am so glad to have someone like you sharing positive experience, I am schedule for iridotomies in 3 weeks and scared to death. Reading from horror stories from other blogs even made things worse for my nerves. Tell me, after the procedure are you able to go back to your normal routine, you mentioned you’re an RN, are you still doing that? Are you able to drive in day and night times…Please let me know. Thank you. I would really love to talk to you just give my mind more at ease. Thanks so much. Angel S of Ohio

    • Hello Angel,

      I understand your apprehension. I’m happy to say I was able to go back to my normal activities right after I had my surgery. I have no problems driving at night or during the day, that was a big concern for me. I’ve always been light sensitive (I have light blue eyes) and it was no worse after surgery. The procedure was not painful for me and goes very fast. My Dr. did one eye at a time, one week apart. I would recommend you have someone drive you if possible. It was nice to just close my eyes and relax after the procedure and not worry about driving. I could have driven if I needed to with good sunglasses. The rest of the day I just took it easy. I am still an RN and went back to work the next day. For me, the most difficult part was the apprehension while waiting until it was time to have the procedure done.

      I hope this helps to ease your fears a little. It’s perfectly normal to be worried, they are messing with your eyes and it’s scary. Kind regards, Tamara

  18. Tamara, Thanks for responding to my inquiries, your answer has definitely helped me calmed my nerves. I appreciate people like you. I will update after my surgery and hopefully everything goes well for me. I am turning everything up above…Thanks again…Angel S of Ohio

  19. My surgery is in two days, please, please keep me in your prayers….Thanks..
    By the way Tamara, I am curious if you know someone who had this done at least 20 years ago, and if there were conditions came about because of previous LPI that they underwent?

    • Hello Angel,

      I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers. I don’t know of anyone who had the surgery 20 years ago. Let know how it goes. I’m visualizing a perfect outcome!

  20. Thank you, I am praying for the same outcome. Have you had any complaints with your LPI ever since you have it?

  21. Hi Tamara and everybody, I had my right eye done today (iridotomy), it wasn’t painful at all, I think my Dr. zapped me a total of 18 times due to how dark my iris, I have black-brown iris being a Filipino descent, he also mentioned he made my hole a bit bigger to keep it from closing, I guess dark irises are notorious of closing back in. You are right Tamara, with a good sunglasses I really could have driven home, but my hubby would never allow that 🙂 My husband was very surprised when I went out of there in less than 10 minutes, my husband thought I changed my mind. Anyways, things are still blurry in my right eye, but getting better as the day went on…I am taking the eye drops my Dr. prescribed 4x a day, and I think it’s milky consistency is not helping in restoring my acuity, I can see a faint small cotton like clump on my lower quadrant but as I ignored it the clumps seemed to disappear. My Dr. was pretty straight forward with side effects and all that he told me has been right on the dot. I am hoping tomorrow will clear a bit more and gained more of my acuity and hopefully can totally ignore that aberrations on my lower quadrant. All in all is not bad, I would surely rather have this than waking up blind if I do get an acute attack, and I will be kicking myself for not doing it. My occlusion is at Grade 1, and the decrease seemed to happen within 2 years, would I want to take a chance and wait? My luck was never been that good, so I am not willing to take that chance. I do encourage people to do their own research, and always take negative comments with a grain of salt. Weigh the good and the bad and make the best decision for you. I looked at my situation as a blessing, I almost skipped my eye exam this year all together, but someone pushed me to do it and found out my condition (Narrow Angles), I saw this as a blessing….Can you imagine if I skipped this year’s eye appointment? Who knows what would have happen to me, walking around with my angle occluded at 75%. We all know decongestants can raise our eye pressure and believe me I take Claritin-D almost everyday beginning mid-November until next Spring, I found out about my condition the end of October, and who knows my decongestant could trigger an attack especially if my remaining angle (25%) is unable to handle my eye pressure. I feel like I am lucky, and God has blessed me. Thanks again Tamara and I will update everyone on how my right eye heals and with my next LPI next Thursday. Please continue to pray for me and I wish everyone good luck to those who are going through the same situation. What ever you decide I pray God will cover us all with his healing blanket and protect us always….God Bless you Tamara and everyone on this blog!!!

    • Hi Angel,

      🙂 I’m so happy to hear that you had a good experience. I was thinking about you today. Keep me posted on your progress, I think it’s helpful for others.

  22. Hi Tamara hope you’re doing well…I will definitely keep everyone posted…By the way when blurriness disappeared for you? I can see a bit improvement with my acuity but still not 100% yet…Am hoping it will get even better tomorrow. Thanks 🙂

    • Hi Angel,
      I don’t really remember much if any blurriness, but it has been awhile since I had it done. It will probably take a few days to get back to normal.

      • Hi I’m 21 and I need laser surgery I had them attempt twice but I’m so nervous that I haven’t went through with it. I have glaucoma, but its in one of my eyes I’m so nervous to get this surgery done. I’m scared, they give me some meds for anxiety, but they don’t help.. Please help me

  23. Hi Tamara glad i found your site..i just had my laser for my right eye last week and it works fine. But awhile ago i went back for my second laser at my left eye and its really traumatic. I feel the pain every time she zapped it.. I almost cried and begged her to reduce the frequency but i dont know if shes doing it or not..To make my story short after the treatment my eye pressure went up..They need to put eye drops again to go down..I just want to ask if someone experience this? I feel better now after putting the steroid drops but its still blurry.I dont want to go back for my appointment next week because of the trauma i experienced today. What do you guys think? Maybe i am just too nervous thats why i feel the pain? high frequency of the laser? I ask the Doctor and she said its just me..I am just sensitive to feel the pain easily.But i dont believe her because last week everything works fine with my right eye. Thanks Tamara!

    • Hi there,

      I’m sorry you had a negative experience. Did they use numbing drops? It takes a few minutes for them to work. Also if they gave the drop too far in advance of the surgery it may have worn off. I have been in the room ready for them to start and my DR. put another numbing drop in because he could tell I was not numb. You may want to ask if you have to have again. As far as pressure going up right after that is common. This is the reason they have you put steroid drops in 3-4 times a day for 4 or 5 days.

      Every case is different. Some people are more sensitive than others to pain. One of my eyes was easier than the other. My left eye needed 1 zap and my right eye needed several. My right eye closed up so I had to have it done again and they did many more zaps. It was more uncomfortable than my left eye for sure. It’s also VERY IMPORTANT to go back to the doctor for a follow-up appointment. I hope this helps ease your mind a little. Tamara

    • Hello all, just had my other eye, my left eye zapped yesterday…my Dr. Said my left irides was very dense that I lost count of the zaps after 15, it felt like he zapped me over 30 times. I looked on National institute of Health on Iridotomy procedure and the average zaps people are getting and it seems like the number of zaps I received was average if you categorized me with Asian population. I’m Filipino descent and my irises are black-Brown. My left eye is fine and so far no optical aberrations like my right eye (faint horizontal line). I’m recovering okay and very fortunate that the Good Lord has allowed me find out my narrow angle condition and correct it before it becomes a problem. I truly believe that if close angle glacouma, anatomical narrow angle (like mine) and other type of glaucoma (which iridotomy can be beneficial) is caught right on time and treated with iridotomy that it can truly be a blessing. At first I was very disappointed with the line I am seeing on my right eye, but it has been a little bit over a week and I’m getting used to it. It was especially bothersome for me being someone with 20/20 vision at 42 yrs. Old and has never have any optical aberrations like floaters in life. I didn’t enjoy the procedure
      but I’m glad I did it. I’m thankful for the evolution of technology. One thing I can tell you is never stop asking, and always research your condition and treatment options. I was so surprised with other people who was there with me to have LPI done that most of them didn’t even know what procedure they went in for. Lastly, make sure the doctor doing your procedure is a Glaucoma specialist and a master surgeon. This is your eye, it’s okay to be choosy. God Blesss Us All. Take Care everyone. .. thanks Tamara for this site, you are God sent. … 🙂 🙂 🙂

      • Hi Angel,

        I’m so happy to hear things went well for you and you are healing. Thank you for your kind words. Have a wonderful weekend!
        Tamara

  24. Hi all! Sorry I didn’t reply again sooner…I have had lots of things going on, and forgot to check back!

    I do still see the faint white lines in my eyes, much more noticeable when outside in the daylight. I am getting more used to it as time goes on. I do see a difference in y night driving, but I don’t head out much at night so really not much of a concern.

    No other issues since the procedure. Not sure if they offered a solution I would even bother at this point.

    All in all….it was worth the stress of doing this. The procedure was rather simple and better than the alternative!!

    All the best to anyone else having to have this done…don’t fret…it’s not bad at all.

    • Hi Shelley,
      Glad to hear you are doing well and that the white lines don’t bother you much. I think I would live with them too if if was only slightly bothersome. Having my eyeball tattooed doesn’t sound to appealing to me. That is the fix from what I’ve been told.

      Have a great day,
      Tamara

      • kathleen foley

        It wasn’t until allergy season and my husband uses zyrtec that an eye Dr said You Need Surgery Right Away due to narrowing angle. The scheduled eye dr appt 2 months prior saw no problems. I don’t hear of all these people going blind. Is it the allergy meds that are causing a narrowing of the angle, making eye Drs. rush into procedures in the Spring? Let’s check the calendar. My husband’s February appt had no issues. He got something in his eye in late April (while taking allergy meds) and OMG you need surgery NOW. Please, someone research this causative effect.

      • Always check out your meds as many increase eye pressure.Happened to me when I was having cortisone shots for a knee injury. After I finished my shots I never had high pressure again.

  25. Hi well today I found out I need to have both eyes done and my Dr said I would need to have two holes in each eye. They will be doing both eyes the same day. I have read many people’s experiences and I have noticed that most people are saying that they see this white line. I would really appreciate it if someone could explain this white line to me. I’m visualizing looking at a blackboard with a white line running through it. Also what is the zapping all about. The reason why I have to have two holes in each eye is my age and less chance of it closing and having to have it done again. Thanks for this Site hope everyone on here is doing well.

    • Hi Lori,

      Sorry to hear you have to have this done. I did not have an issue with the white line so I can’t really tell you what it’s like. I had both eyes done with one hole each. They did my eyes on different days. I did have one hole close a couple of months after and I had to have a new one put in. I did not suffer any blurry vision right after or anytime. As far as the zapping…I’m referring to the sound the laser makes when they push the button. It’s fast, one of my eyes only needed one “zap” the other eye needed several. To my knowledge most people have one eye done at a time in case there are any problems. It would be nice to have it done all at once so not as many visits to the DR. Good luck I hope you have an easy time. Hope this helps. Oh and I did not have any pain, only mild discomfort. Tamara

  26. Thank you so very much. Did you need any time off from work. I appreciate your response. Have a great evening

    • Hello Lori,
      I had it done in the morning and had the rest of the day off. I was fine to work the next day. If I had to, depending on type of work, I probably could have worked same day. I stayed away from anything that strained my eyes on the day I had it done. It felt good just to relax for a day. Hope this helps. Tamara

  27. Hi Lori:
    I had mine done November and was scared to death…I do see that white line on my right lower quadrant but as the day goes I forget about the line and go about my business. You will learn to live with it. It’s not as bad as you heard them from some other sites and blogs. The white aberrations are faint feathery thin line. If I am looking at my laptop I can see it more but forget about it if I am watching a movie in my laptop. You will definitely see it if you are looking for it. The aberrations did not affect my acuity and I did not lose any angle in my periphery at all. All I can say is research, research, research. I did so much study on it my doctor asked me if I was an ophthalmologist, lol. I am a Vision Therapist as well but more like in rehab part. I do see different eye conditions and I know how devastating a close angle glaucoma could be. I would say that’s the worse kind because you can literally wake up blind, this particular glaucoma is named “The thief of the night”, because once your angle closes and your IOP increases to dangerous level you only have approx. 3 hours to get yourself to a doctor and relieve that pressure, which LPI will remedy this as well. But if this situation happens while your sleeping, normally people sleep between 5-8 hours and some longer, then it will be too late to do something to revive your vision when your IOP has already damaged your optic nerve. So I felt like finding out my Anatomical Narrow Angle was a second chance given to me. God already told me what needs to be done and I can’t ignore that blessings, I felt like it’s my turn to be proactive and do something about it. God gave me a chance to correct something, so I corrected it. Now I have a peace of mine. The procedure is quick and painless, maybe just a headache from pilocarpine that they give you to constrict your pupil so the doctor will have a good view of your irises. I will strongly suggest going home and just relax in a dark cool room. My doctor did my right eye first and I believe he made a bigger hole that’s why I have the aberrations, but when he did my left eye I asked him to make the hole a bit smaller, which he did, and don’t have any aberrations on my left eye. I will pray for you. I know everything’s going to be okay…Keep us updated and Take care 🙂
    Angel S of Dayton, Ohio

  28. Hi Tamara
    I just had the procedure done on my both eye last week and i have a glare on both eyes.I am so annoyed with this procedure.I have some issue with my eyes from last almost 2 years that my eyes are light sensitive,i cant take the bright sunlight,i can go in stores to shop and my eyes burn and starts to itch.I visited 3-4 times and different eye doctors no one but this doctor told me about angle closure.SO my worry is that if i had this condition why no one else could detect this? My eyes got checked by 3-4 different doctors and how come she noticed this and she did not let me think much,She said if i want to take time to think i can but if i walk out today for later date and anything happens or i loose my eye sight than i will not blame them.I am feeling so bad and frustrated that why did i do this on my eyes ,my eyes was always perfect other than this itch and light sensitivity which is still there,so i never got treated for what i was complaining for almost 2 years and they did something new which i never complained.Please answer

  29. More anoying is that 4 months back in the same one of the eye dotor told me that my eyes are in perfect condition.All i have is a dry eye condition.Another question when we talk about the holes can close,does that mean that the glare will go away?
    Thanks

  30. Had my first iridotomy done today in right eye. I’ve been tryng to ignore, postpone, create excuses to avoid this for 8+ years. I was convinced when my optomitrist took a picture of my retina and showed me how much it was under pressure (aka cupping). It was scary. So I finally put on my big girl pants and had it done.

    It was easy. Stare at the bright light and hold still. Eye was pretty numb although I felt a twinge with the first zap. The other four zaps where nothing and then I was out of the procedure in five minutes.

    They checked my pressure twice after surgery. Before surgery it was 23. After it went up to 28 and then they gave me some drops to bring it back down. It was 24 on the third try. The eye feels like I had a bad day with wearing contacts too long. It’s tired and sore but not in pain. Most of all my vision in blurry and dark because my iris is still contracted. Not sure when that will wear off.

    Anyway I go back in two weeks for second eye. I hope it’s as uneventful as the first. And I hope that everyone who reads this gets some reassurance from the biggest Nervous Nelly of all. You are braver than me. If you’ve been through a glaucoma pressure test, it isn’t much different. I wish you all the best.

  31. Hi. Well I had my surgery yesterday on both eyes and they originally were to have two holes in each eye. Good news was I only needed one in each eye. Everything was great and the most amazing thing was as soon as I had it done I could immediately feel relief. I didn’t realize how much pressure on my eyes I was having until it was gone. I had headaches daily but today for the first time in a very long time I didn’t wake up with one. It is scary to think about because it’s your eyes but if you stay very still as the doctor will tell you to it isn’t bad at all. Thanks everyone for your help on this matter it was helpful to read.

  32. Today was one week since the eye surgery and I have not had one headache. Wow wow wow. It is a wonderful feeling. I did pray for the whole time. Thanks again Tamara. 🙂

  33. i have recently been told that i have narrow vision. i was referred to another eye doctor. my question is how much does this procedure cost?

    • Hello Carlos,
      I don’t remember exactly how much this procedure cost. The price will be different depending on where you live. If you have medical insurance it should cover a good part of the cost. It was probably around $3,000 total for both eyes without insurance.
      Tamara

  34. Hi Tamara,
    Glad I stumbled on your blog. Having this procedure done tomorrow in both eyes. I was told by two docs that I too have narrow angles. I am 44 and never had an eye exam, as my vision has always been 20/20. Went in because in my older age I feel my vision was getting a little blurrier and I may need some over 40 readers, LOL. The added bonus was that I also have this eye condition I knew nothing about. In retrospect it may explain some of my very bad headaches and pain behind my eyes I have been experiencing these days on occasions. I am not at all afraid as I have had open heart surgery for a congenital defect when I was 30, so nothing scares me anymore after that. But that is for another blog 🙂 Anyway thanks to all you folks for reassuring me it needs to be done, although I see how it seems at times like “where did this come from and is it really necessary?” But I guess the answer is yes! So, thanks. I will let you know how it goes tomorrow. My doc is a very well known Glaucoma specialist in the Los Angeles area, so I know I will be in good hands. Wish me luck.

  35. I went for laser two weeks ago and learned today that he has to redo it is this common i am scared

    • Hello Polly,
      I don’t have stats on how often this happens. You didn’t mention if your holes closed or if there was another problem. I didn’t have any trouble having my right eye redone. I hope you have a similar experience. Best wishes,
      Tamara

      • Hi had my second itidoyomy done monday.i go back for a follow up in two werks.is there any way I can know before this if it has worked.please say a prayer Sent from my BlackBerry 10 smartphone on the Bell network. From: Flying Kitten ……… movie medic music mamaSent: Monday, October 6, 2014 10:18 PMTo: p.luzzi@shaw.caReply To: Flying Kitten ……… movie medic music mamaSubject: [New comment] Lasers Burned A Hole In My Eye ~ Iridotomy ~

        Tamara commented: “Hello Polly, I don’t have stats on how often this happens. You didn’t mention if your holes closed or if there was another problem. I didn’t have any trouble having my right eye redone. I hope you have a similar experience. Best wishes, Tamara”

  36. hi yes sorry I wasn’t clear I had the procedure done two
    weeks ago when I went for the follow up he said he could see one small hole in one eye and just couldnt see the other hole so wants to do the laser again any thoughts? Thanks. Good to know that you didnt have trouble I was just wondering how common it is to have a redo

    • Hi, My only thought would be to see if only the one eye can be done. If the hole is small that might be ok. Ultimately you have to trust your doctor.

  37. Hi, in March my opthalmologist told me I have narrow angles and need an iridotomy. When I asked what the risks might be, his answer was that he has done a thousand of these surgeries. When my family heard his response, they encouraged me to get a second opinion. The second doctor was at a well known eye, ear, and nose hospital. He measured my pressure, did a partial dilation, then measured my pressure again. Since it hadn’t gone up, he said I could be watched every 3 months. When I went back in 3 months, he had moved away and I got to see the head surgeon for glaucoma. She did a sonargram, goinoscopy, optic nerve photos and field vision tests! She said she feels I do need the iridotomy.It is scheduled for Oct. 27th.She gave me little time to ask questions. I e-mailed questions and she never answered my e-mail. It is so annoying. I am terrified. Everything I do is dependent upon good eyesight. I do fine needlework and quilting. I do photography and computer work. I am afraid I won’t be able to do this work if I have the surgery. Does anyone know what percentage of people with narrow angles, but low pressure, go on to develop acute glaucoma?
    Carolyn

    • Hi Carolyn, I understand your fear. I wish I could answer your question about the stats for how many people with narrow angles actually having trouble without having an iridotomy. I wonder the same thing. I can say that I’ve had no trouble after having mine done. I use a computer many hours a day. I also do many other things that I need good vision for. The biggest problem I’ve heard others have is the white line they see. I did not have that trouble. If you happen to find out I would love it if you would share the info here. I know others have the same question.
      Kind regards,
      Tamara

  38. I have anatomical narrow angles that doctors have been monitoring for 6 or 7 years. It appears it is now time for surgery due to an increase in the size of my lens. Has anyone you know of discovered narrow angles after having LASIK surgery? Are you aware of anyone who has had the laser iridotomy surgery who has had a history of blood clots and circulatory issues? I am trying to determine what my particular side effects might be. Thank you!

    • Hi Donna,
      I’m sorry but I don’t have experience with any of the questions you asked. I do think it’s great you are doing some research. Maybe someone else will see your question and be able to answer.
      If you happen to get the info you are looking for please don’t hesitate to share it here. It might be helpful for someone else.
      Best wishes,
      Tamara

    • I had an iridotomy on Oct. 26, 2014.
      I have Factor V Leiden blood clotting disorder. Everything went just fine. I do not believe the risk is any higjer for those of us who have this condition.i was terrified of facing iridotomy, but it was fine…. Uncomfortable, but fine!

  39. Thank you, Tamara!

  40. Donna,
    I had the iridotomy in October. It went well. I too have clotting issues, but my Dr. said it is not a concern when having an iridotomy. I am scheduled for the other eye later this month. Everything went well with the first one. I’m hoping the second will go as well as the first.

  41. Well I had a regular eye test on Friday for new glasses and was told my angles were quite narrow so an appointment was made for Monday to see the ophthalmologist. Pressure test indicated 15 and was diagnosed with Narrow angles and recommended to have an iridotomy on both eyes. I didn’t hesitate after reading up about it on google. i am 50 and have been wearing glasses for short sightedness for 25 years, Never had a glaucoma and have no damage to my eyes, I am 180cm and not of Asian background so was a bit surprised. Anyway today, one day after my diagnosis I have had my right eye done with the left eye being done next week. So far so good, I drove home and have just finished my hourly drops for today. I don’t appear to have any problems as yet!! My only concern being a keloid healer was could I get scaring on the eyes but the doctor said he had never had an issue with that do I took the plunge as I think prevention is the way to go.

  42. Hi there. I am happy to find this site. Thank you for it. I am sorry if my English is poor, it is not my first language. I was told my angles were narrow after a routine visit. I have some problems with my left eye but not linked to that. Since it happened, I am totally scared. I saw 2 doctors and speech were different. here doctors don’t really answer the questions. if you ask questions it is just like you don’t believe them and they are upset… First doctor told me I need surgery but it was not urgent. I asked about secondary effects and she said nothing. Second doctor told me it was urgent even if “there was still some place in my eye”. She told me I would have the white line for sure because I will search for it… O_o The surgery is scheduled in April and May. I heard the first doctor saying I had grade 2 eyes to her assistant. The guidelines I found on the net are not clear for grade 2 eyes. Some say surgery is needed, some other say monitoring is okay. My main concern is not the procedure itself, but the potential secondary effects like increased IOP and white line. I tried to find some infos about statistics for the side effects but could not find anything reliable. I am “only” 38 and I need my eyes, especially because I am on computers the whole day. I am afraid to go through a non urgent surgery now and have secondary effects for the rest of my life. I don’t know how that white line can be annoying or not. I would think differently if I was older. I hope it makes sense. I am a VERY stressed ( and depressed) person and for now things are just impossible to deal with >__<. I hope I don't hurt anyone saying that.
    Thank you in advance for any help or support.

    • Hello Vanessa,
      I can relate to your stress. I’m not a Doctor so I can’t say what you should do, I can only say what my experience has been. Most Doctors in USA are very busy and don’t really answer questions in much detail either, they have to rush off to the next patient. Like you I use a computer all day and I was also concerned. I’m happy to say I’ve had no problems with that, at least not from the surgery. I do get computer eye strain at times, but it’s not from the surgery because I got it before I had the procedure. I just have to make sure to blink, use lubricating drops, and take a rest from the computer screen for a few minutes each hour if my eyes are bothering me. As far as the white lines. I was worried about that and I’m happy to say I did not get them. My Dr. did say there is a procedure to fix the problem. If I remember correctly he said a corneal tattoo can be done to make it go away. As far as increased IOP you will use eye drops for 3 or 4 days to keep the pressure under control. I had to put a drop in 3 times a days for 3 days. Not a big deal for me. I have glaucoma so my pressures are monitored on a regular basis and that is also why I decided to go ahead with the surgery. I too wish there was more data about how many people have sudden increase in pressure due to the narrow angles. If anyone reads this that has that data I would love for them to share it here. If your Dr. said it’s not urgent you can always take more time and do more research before going ahead with the surgery. Just make sure to have your eyes checked on a regular basis and get to the Dr. within a couple of hours if you start having severe eye pain and pressure. A sudden increase in IOP is the big concern and why they recommend the surgery as a preventative. I’m so sorry this is causing you so much stress and making you feel depressed. I hope reading this helps you, at least a little bit.
      Sincerely,
      Tamara

      • Thank you very much for your kind reply Tamara.
        My friend in USA told me doctors there were better with their patients. Here I even could not have the results of my exams and they send nothing to my general doctor >______<. It is awfully stressful to think in around a month I will have eyes problems perhaps for the rest of my life. and so I feel really depressed. And for now any medication is not allowed.
        The first doctor told surgery was not urgent but the second said the opposite, and told me I had to put drops in my eyes every day, so I don't know what to think.
        I think I have a few datas you told about. I can try to find the "real" publication in English, in fact I found the info in a reference medical book in French. I can suppose it is relevant, but I am sorry in advance if I put wrong info and make people confused. They said " From the results of a study published by Wilenski et al. [Wilensky JT, Kaufman PL, Frohlichstein D. Follow-up of angle-closure glaucoma suspects. Am J Ophthalmol, 1993;115:338-46. ], between 3 and 6 % of the patients ( asymptomatics and with a potential risk of closure angle) have developped subacute or acute angle closures in a follow up of a mean of 27 months and a max of 6 years. " From what I understand it was a study of 120 patients. Not sure it is enough to have real conclusions though, and I can't find the datas about the patients ( age, grade,…). I read there is a big study of 900 patients for now in China, hope the results will be available soon.
        Hope that helps a bit. ^_^

      • Hi Vanessa,
        I’m not sure which country you live in, maybe France? We do have excellent doctors here in the USA. The biggest problem I see is they are so busy they just don’t have the time to spend giving lengthy explainations. I noticed you said one doctor said you would need drops everyday. That made me wonder if you have high IOP now or a diagnosis of glaucoma. I do have glaucoma, and I have a laser procedure called SLT “Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty” to treat it. I have the laser surgery every 2 or 2.5 years to keep my pressures down. It has worked very well for me and I don’t have to use the drops. I’m so sorry you are feeling depressed, I know it’s not easy. I was not depressed before my surgeries, but I was scared. We need our eyesight and the thought of not having it is terrifying. I did my best to keep a positive outlook and say to myself that everything would work out perfect. I had to believe it would be. I know that positive thinking is so important for a good outcome. I kept repeating the positive words to myself “Positive Affirmations” and it really helped. I’ve also seen it help many other people. I would tell myself “My surgery will go smoothly”, “I’m confident I will have no complications”, “I’m ready for surgery”, “I have faith in my surgeon”, “I will be safe”, “I will be calm”. It helped me a lot. Meditation and controlled breathing can be very helpful, at least for me, especially when I’m very stressed. If you have never tried it you might want to check it out.

        I hope you find this helpful, Tamara

      • Sorry for my late reply and thank you so much for yours Tamara. I really really wish I could think like you! You are so strong! Thank you for this message, I will do my best to think like you even if it is really hard for me. I was depressed and very very anxious even before this eyes problem so it is only worse now. I hope I can be like you. ^_^. It is hard though as the doctor told me I will have the side effects for sure …
        I live in Belgium, just near France.
        I don’t have glaucoma for now, my IOP are good, and never had any crisis or something, according to the first doctor I saw. I “only” have narrow angles. The doctor wanted I put drops called pilocarpine. I think these drops can be used in the iridotomy procedure. Though I read some opposite advices and these drops can sometimes have side effects too and make the angle narrower if used everyday. So I won’t choose that way I think 0_o. It looks really complicated.

      • I understand how difficult it is for some people to fight off depression and anxiety. My heart goes out to you. I hope your eye treatment goes well and you have no problems. I think you are well informed. I will think good thoughts for you to have an excellent outcome. Take care, Tamara

      • Hi here. I am sorry for this very late reply. I have sadly bad news. I hope I won’t hurt anybody with my post, but I think I have to do it because it could be important for others.
        The first eye was okay, but not the second one. The laser could not open the hole easily and the doctor had to do a lot of impacts. Then she told me the hole was not big enough and I should have a second session. Right after the surgery I saw a big black spot and 2 little ones. I have big photophobia too. I went to the emergency and they say I have floaters in my eye. I asked my doctor if it could be linked to the laser, she felt upset and said no no no, then she said yes but not directly. She said I already had the floater before and now I see it because there is more light in my eye because of the hole. Then she told me I had hallucinations (!!!!) because she could not see the floater in my eye. But the doctor at the emergency could see it with another exam, so I think it is awful to say things like this to a patient!
        I still see the black spot nearly all the time, especially when I am outside with a blue sky or on a pc screen. It is really hard for me. I should have a second laser session next week but really I don’t want. I asked the doctor if the black spot could increase after that second session, but she refused to reply. That makes me really afraid because I have the feeling it will. Now I feel really really bad…I don’t know what to do.
        Any advices or experience are welcome! Thank you in advance.

      • Hello,
        I’m so sorry you are having problems. The only advice I can offer is to get a second opinion. Best wishes, Tamara

  43. Hi Tamara,

    I am so glad I found this link… I had laser Iridotomy done on my right eye one week ago on 3/13 — 2 zaps, done… and no real issues besides dry eye! However, for the left eye, the secretary told me to do the laser treatment at the office instead. I had some reservations since I remember the doctor specifically said the laser that they have at the office ‘may or may not’ be strong to penetrate, so the surgery center is the better option. I asked the secretary 3 times as well as the tech before they attempted the laser treatment on my left eye (at the office). AFTER the doctor zapped my left eye approx 10-12 times, he told me he could not get thru the tissue (too thick). I was really worried, who likes to get zapped in the eye that many times for no reason? He then informed me that he’d ultimately have to repeat the procedure at the surgery center. Today’s laser only got thru about 10% of what it needed to, but there is no harm done. I am not convinced there truly is NO HARM DONE from today’s laser… Do you have the answer to that? Also, how rude of him to tell me to ‘calm down’ and that I’m worried when there is nothing to worry about; how can I know that to be a fact? I am seriously thinking about having a different doctor do my left eye… Can you offer any advice with my bizarre experience? I know you trust your doctor; I am not sure I can trust mine 😦

    Thank you in advance!
    Liz

    • Hello Elizabeth,
      I’m so sorry for your experience. First I want to say I’m not a laser expert and I can’t give you medical advice. I can only give you my experience. I had my surgery in my Dr’s office. My Dr. has some of the latest laser equipment. My left eye only took 1 or 2 zaps. My right eye took about 25 if I remember correctly. I do remember thinking when is it going to stop as I was counting in my head. It was definitely more uncomfortable than my left eye. My right eye was also the one I had to have done twice because the hole closed. You probably read that on my blog post. They should have listened to you. Telling you to calm down after they couldn’t do the treatment correctly worries me. There are much better ways to calm a patient when they are stressed. Telling them to calm down is like saying shut up you’re annoying me. The fact that they did the treatment in the office when they first thought it wouldn’t work and you asked them about it concerns me. It seems like it was for their convenience and not yours. Are they going to charge you more for not completing the service? They say no harm done, and maybe that’s true as far as damage or long term complications. But still your eye was messed with. They are trying to make you feel better and like they didn’t do anything wrong. I would hesitate going back to the same Dr. after that kind of treatment. It seems he/she must not be very good at this laser treatment. It takes great skill to get it just right. That being said everyone has different eye conditions so outcomes can’t always be planned. It never hurts to get another Dr. opinion. I hope this helps you at least a little.
      Wishing you a good outcome,
      Tamara

  44. Get several opinions before getting the iridotomy. My optometrist did the oct exam and told me I had narrow angles and needed the laser iridotomy (I had no problems and no family history). He sent me to an ophthalmologist, who examined me and said I did not need it. Then, 8 months later, I again had the oct test at my optometrist (I am nearsighted) and he said I need to have this laser surgery urgently because my angles are narrowing. He sent me to another ophthalmologist, who said I had narrow angles and need the surgery and might need more than that because I might have some weird form of glaucoma and sent me to a sub-specialty-ophthalmologist/surgeon at a major hospital. This one examined my eyes extensively (gonioscopy etc) and told me I did not need the iridotomy and he does not recommend I have one. He said I won’t have angle closure even though I have narrow angles, because I have a slightly different eye anatomy. Also, I don’t have glaucoma, my eyes are just different. So be careful, many people with narrow angles need it but not all – get several opinions!

    • Hi Monica – can you tell me what type of doctor and who the doctor was who told you that you did not need the procedure? I just was told I have anatomically narrow angles and should have this done, and that is also what I read on the internet. But of course if I don’t really need it I would love to know. This is f’ing scary.

  45. I had an Iridotomy on my right eye last week and my left eye yesterday. I wasn’t as bad as I’ve heard or read on the internet. I go back for a follow up in three weeks. Hopefully my Doctor who suffers from the God complex, will answer my question on long term prognosis.

  46. I had my first iridotomy today and am very happy to report all went very well. Absolutely no side effects, no blurring of vision, no ghosting. After reading all the not-so-good outcomes of this surgery I was very, very happy.

  47. Just thought I would share my experience with this process. I had iridotomies to both eyes 4 days ago, as a pre-op procedure for ICL (implantable collamer lenses). I have dark brown eyes, so I had several zaps to both eyes, with more needed for my right eye. The sensation wasn’t exactly painful, but definitely uncomfortable. They put two numbing drops in each eye before I went into the laser room, and an additional drop was placed in each eye at the Dr’s suggestion, just before we got started. I was grateful because the second eye, (right side) was on the verge of being painful, even though we didn’t . With each eye he made comments aloud such as “Ah, we got a little bleeding there, it’s blocking the laser so I have to pick a new spot” or “This spot is too thick, I’m going to have to move somewhere else” and “I know it’s uncomfortable, are you ok?” Afterwards they rinsed my eyes with some kind of gel, and I was given a steroidal eye drop to use 2 times a day for a week. They did not measure my eye pressure (it was also close to closing time…)
    I drove myself home, although my eyes were definitely sore and it looked like I was driving in fog; my vision was very hazy. I went home and laid down with my eyes closed for a few hours. The next day my eyes felt strained and tender. It was a very sunny day and so I immediately noticed that although the haziness was gone, I had a strange horizontal white line along the bottom of my vision, in both eyes. The line moves along with my blinking, and isn’t opaque. It’s not debilitating since I can see through it, but it is annoying and I don’t like it. I also noticed a slight headache that didn’t seem to go away. I did a lot of research about iridotomies that weekend, even though I didn’t think the computer use was helping the eyestrain/headache.
    After the weekend, the doctor called to ask me to come back for a test they had forgotten (unrelated to the iridotomy), and when I did I asked about the white line and headaches. They did the line chart vision test, and I passed, since: 1) the line is not apparent to me in dimly lit rooms, and 2) the line is (for me anyway) not wide or opaque. The doctor examined my eyes with a slit lamp and said I was getting that white line because the holes were right about where my lid sits, so when I blink the tear film and lid allowed a small amount of light to get into my eye. He said that 9 times out of 10 it will go away, and to give it about 3 weeks. This concerned me a little, since most of what I’ve read online indicates that it does not go away. Maybe he’s hoping I’ll just get used to it? He did mention that if it persisted, some “pigment could be added”, which I guess is that tattooing process folks have mentioned here. (Anyone had it done??)
    I really want to believe him, since he’s going to be implanting the ICLs for me in a few weeks… He also had them test my eye pressure. I don’t know what it was exactly, but apparently is was a little high and he suggested I stop with the eye drops, since he believed that was the culprit and there was no sign of inflammation. He said that was probably what was causing my headache and I should start feeling better in a day or so.
    That was yesterday and I have a huge headache today. Since I don’t normally have high IOP, I don’t know the symptoms. Is headache one of them? If I don’t feel better tomorrow, I might go in for a check up. This is starting to feel like the build up to a migraine, and the ibuprofen I took hasn’t helped at all.
    The white line is annoying, but not life changing. I can barely see it at night time, there are no additional glares or halos, and my vision is as it was before. If my ICL implantation goes well and I have good results, I will not regret the need for iridotomies, even if the line stays. The headache, however, has GOT to go!

  48. Hi Tamara.
    I had a cyst on my lower eyelid that wouldn’t go away. After almost 2 months I visited an eye doctor who did a full exam on my eyes. He said I had narrow angles, nothing about bad eye pressure, and needed surgery or my optic nerve could come unattached and I could suddenly go blind. I happen to been in my early 40s so I am too wondering how much I really needed the surgery. I got it done because the doctor scared me that I could suddenly go blind. It’s now been 4 years since I had both eyes done and I still have light sensitivity and in one eye especially it gets watery easily and often I notice it even when in a cool, low light indoor setting. I find myself often rubbing at the corner of my eyes, especially my right eye and most often the outer corner of my eye, not the corner with the tear duct near the nose. Other than that I always had perfect vision except started using reading glasses at age 41. I had hoped after awhile my eyes would stop being watery, but I just have to deal with it as I doubt I’d pay a penny to risk them doing anything more to my eyes at this point. Take care and Happy New Years!

    • Hi Lisa,
      Sorry about the watery eyes. My eyes often get watery as well. Kind of annoying, but I guess it’s something I will always have to deal with. Using a computer for many hours a day doesn’t help. Thank you for sharing your experience.
      Happy New Year,
      Tamara

  49. Just read through the years of comments as I’m due to have my left eye done next week. I don’t have glaucoma just narrow angles. This was found at regular eye exam and I was referred to specialist. What I heard at the specialist exam was the left eye was a “3” and the right eye a “2” and she said only the left needed to be done now. The procedure is pretty expensive – about $2200. I’ve been trying to find out what the insurance coverage is and the CPT code 66761 doesn’t come up according to Carefirst which means that it would be denied. So I started looking into this further and found this site. Lots of good information. If anyone sees this I wonder what their experience was with health insurance.

    • Hi, I was told I have narrow angles and was night risks for closure. Never had high eye pressure nor symptoms. After the the opinion, I had it done by one of those opinion doctors, a glaucoma specialist. He layered at the 3 and 9:00 positions as to not have the horizontal white line. I now have a very annoying glare from light fixtures.

      • Hello Christine,

        I’m sorry to hear that. Hopefully in time the glare will subside. Glad you didn’t get the white line on top of it.

  50. This really is great webpage. I would like to advise to filmmakers to check out Punch TV Studios mainly because they’re supplying funds for directors up to $100k thousands bucks to make a motion picture with their studio. Indie producers should check it out. #punchtvstudios

  51. Does anyone know how long after the narrow angle procedure is done you can begin to wear gas perm contacts again?

  52. Leslie Freimuth

    Hi, I am due to get LPI surgery for narrow angles with pressure 17 and 20. I have not had any symptoms but was diagnosed a year and eight months ago by two eye centers. I have an appointment to do the first eye Aug 4 and the second eye Aug 18 in Grand Junction, Colorado by Doctor James A. Fox at Hoffman Eye Care, IconEyeCare. Does anyone have any information from this doctor or eye center? I am feeling very nervous about this procedure as I have perfect vision and hate to think of making my vision worse for preventative procedures.
    Thank you,
    Leslie

  53. I did two visual tests for glaucoma with my regular optometrist which turned out poorly. She recommended that I see a glaucoma specialist. He looked at my eyes and said I had narrow-angles and needed iridotomy as a preventive measure. I said I wasn’t sure and he got angry and push me to do the surgery.

    I returned to my optometrist who said she thought I should do the surgery as I had narrow-angles. After months of me procrastinating, the specialist suddenly retired and said I would have to see another specialist. The second specialist said my eyes seemed fine but wasn’t sure if I needed the surgery. He then referred me to the another glaucoma specialist in Toronto who would have the final word.

    The third specialist did another laser scan and pressure test of my eyes. According to him, many East Asians have an eye anatomy that are narrow-angle but won’t cause any problems. I’m Chinese-Canadian. He told me that I don’t need the surgery and my pressure is normal.

    My recommendation is to see an optometrist you can trust. If you can, get different opinions before you have the surgery.

  54. I had two LPI’s; one on Aug 4 and then the second eye on Aug 22. I went in for my follow up on Sept 20th and was diagnosed with failed LPI’s due to Plateau Iris Syndrome. I was told to have the LPI as I had Narrow Angle non-glaucoma but I was at high risk of developing and perhaps having an attack and losing my vision. I buckled down and did the LPI but was unsure about the entire thing. Now, I am even more unsure as the doc wanted me to make a decision on the spot to have cataract and endocylcophotocoagulation surgeries. I was upset that the LPI’s were unsuccessful and needed time to think. I have two consults with surgeons at Moran Eye Center and Lions Eye Center and hope that I can make some educated decisions. If anyone has been through this I would love to hear back from you. Thank you. I just now read Wai’s post and wish I had read that before I did the LPI.

  55. marianne sarnoski

    Thank You Tamera for your experience. I am having my Iridotomy tomorrow, and put a message out to my facebook friends to let me know if anyone has had this surgery, so I could hear of their experience. Not only did they not have the surgery, but many never heard of it period. Hopefully my surgery will go as well as yours did. Thanks.

    • I’m thinking of you. I hope your surgery goes perfect!!

      • lesliefreimuth

        I had the iridotomies but when I went to get them checked was told they didn’t work and that I would need cataracts and endocyclocoagulation surgeries in both eyes because they saw Plateau Iris Syndrome when they checked my Iridotomies. I went to see a specialist and he said my angles were fine and that I did not need the two surgeries that the original doc mentioned for follow up. Do your homework and make sure you get second opinions this seems to be a new area with many opinions. I will need to follow up in 6 months and will need cataract in 3-5 years.
        I did lose some vision after the LPI’s! Be careful. I now wonder if I really needed those. Movin’ on for now! Good luck.

  56. Hi Everyone. I was told today that I have very anatomically narrow angles and an iridotomy was recommended in both eyes. To say I’m bummed is an understatement. The doc, who is well-regarded and has decades of experience as a glaucoma specialist, said that once the procedure is done with a hole in each eye that I should be good to go the rest of my life.

    After reading these posts, it sounds like, in reality, it could even be more than one hole and repeat procedures. (Perhaps he planned to reveal this later if I decided on my own to do it.) That said, I have struggled the last few months with my eyes. I had blepharitis and MGD which I cleared but also dry eyes, which is an ongoing thing. The thing that remains is swollen eyelids and feeling like my eyeballs are bulging out at times, plus fluxuting vision and other weirdness. Anyway, I’m very scared to do this procedure but also scared not to do it. So my questions are:
    1. I notice posts saying the cost is like $2-3K? My regular eye doc said it was like 200 bucks for each eye (self-pay).
    2. Who is everyone getting second opinions from – multiple glaucoma specialists?
    3. Is there anyone here who has anatomically narrow angles, and what have you decided to do?

    Anything else to share? Thanks so much and blessings to all.

    • I have this acute angle thing and the specialist wants to do this laser thing. I am scared to death. I can’t even put eye drops in. This specialist is not very friendly either. He explained I needed it because it will get worse but for now my pressure is still normal. he said, it takes 3 minutes…
      i get more nervous each day. It’s the 26th and I am really frightened.

      • Hi Lisa, Wishing you all the best for an easy and pain free experience.

        To your good health,
        Tamara

      • Don’t be scared it doesn’t hurt! I was really scared as well because of all the stuff I read on the internet but it was fast (seconds not minutes), didn’t hurt at all and I had absolutely no vision change or problem afterwards. I had it done by a top ophthalmologist who does a lot of these procedures. They put drops into your eyes before and then an ointment that numbs the eyes (doesn’t hurt but feels weird). It is easier (faster) if you have light eyes (less pigment to remove). With narrow angles you might never develop a closure, but, on the other hand, you might, in which case you would probably lose sight (go blind).

      • Hi Monica, My experience was very similar. Thank you for your input.

  57. Thank you Tamara and Monica for responding. The man that is doing my eyes, evidentially was a past President for the Glaucoma Speciality group and Chief of it for a major hospital in the area, His contradentials are very good but its my eyes…and as I told him, he may deal with different eye stuff all the time but I dont and I have always been real protective of my eyes. So, I just picked up the eye drops that I am suppose to use after the procedure. According to the instructions, I have to do it evey 2 hours for the first 24 hours. Then I have to do it 4 times a day for 7 days. That is something I so dread… Remember I hate eye drops…or any such thing…So, now I just have the next 3 days to just panic about the right eye being done. I told my family yesterday, if the right eye has issues afterward, there is absolutely no way I am doing the left eye in 2 weeks. Send me good thoughts please on Wednesday.

    • Hi Lisa, I understand and feel the same about being protective with my eyes. I know it is difficult for some people to put drops in their eyes. I don’t have a problem using drops so I wasn’t apprehensive about it. I think you will get more comfortable with it after a few times putting them in. Sometimes the drops can burn a bit, but it’s not bad or long lasting. To put them in I tilt my head back, look up, pull my lower lid down slightly, squeeze the bottle to instill the drop. After the drop is in I gently close my eyes for a few seconds. Good luck and let us all know how it goes for you.

  58. I had the procedure done twice . One hole closed and the other was quite small so my doctor decided to do it again. I go every six months for checkups and all is good. I asked him if they will close and he said if they haven’t by now they won’t ! Thank Goodness! It is a very quick procedure and I recommend having it done otherwise the risk of an attack could lead to vision loss, good luck everything will be fine!

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