Laser Peripheral Iridotomy, also abbreviated as LPI, is a preferred procedure for treating an angle-closure type of glaucoma. This type of glaucoma occurs due to a relative or absolute pupillary blockage. With its typical name, you would be assuming that its some new technique to treat angle-closure glaucoma, but you’re wrong. LPI has been in use since 1984 and is used both as a prevention and treatment for the disease.

So basically, Iridotomy is a medical process intended to prevent eyes from progressing or even developing of glaucoma in the eye and also to preserve the vision.

What does ‘Closed Angle’ refer in Closed Angle Glaucoma?

To understand what is closed-angle glaucoma, let’s first recognize what exactly is the angle that we ‘re discussing here, it’s the space between the Iris (colored part) and the Cornea (clear part) of the eye. This space contains trabecular meshwork, which is solely responsible for draining the aqueous humor and directing of fluid out from the eye.

Closed Angle Glaucoma is also known as Acute angle-closure glaucoma, in which the above-discussed angle between the cornea and iris of the eye begins to close. That leads in the rise of intraocular pressure (IOP), which further leads to the damage of optic nerve and may also advance to vision loss.

When Should you go for an LPI?

Laser Peripheral Iridotomy is usually advised for patients with narrow angles, closed-angle glaucoma, or severe angle closure glaucoma.

LPI is employed in patients with close angles, it’s known as a prophylactic process that prevents these patients from developing this critical form of glaucoma. The process is vital as the patient also is at an elevated risk of developing this chronic problem. It is significant in an acute attack of angle closure glaucoma as it usually follows with issues of elevated eye pressures, pain, and lack of vision.

When LPI is employed in the treatment of patients who already have acute angle closure glaucoma, it is used to help lower the pressure in addition to prevent another attack of angle closure glaucoma.

What exactly is done in LPI?

LPI attempts to open the narrowed angle between cornea and iris. Since this area is still the same part which assists in draining fluid from the eye, narrowing of the angle may put the eye at high risk for a severe attack of angle closure glaucoma. In LPI process, a laser is used to make a little opening at the peripheral iris (the colored part of the eye). It alters the fluid dynamics in the eye and opens the angle. If a patient already suffers from an acute angle closure glaucoma, the little opening that’s created from the peripheral iris enables fluid to drain. As a result, reducing eye pressure.

Note: The lasers used while performing LPI is mostly an argon laser, with a neodymium;yttrium-aluminium-garnet (Nd; YAG) laser.

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