Anatomical Narrow Angles
The angle of the eye is defined as the angle that is formed between the cornea (the clear, outer portion of the front part of the eye) and the iris (the colored part of the eye). The angle is where the draining apparatus of the eye eye is located. When the anterior chamber angle is narrow, the drainage system is at risk for becoming so narrow that fluid can no longer escape. This could result in acute and chronic angle closure glaucoma.
There are often no symptoms associated with anatomically narrow angles. While patients with anatomic narrow angles have a predisposition to develop glaucoma if left untreated, they often do not have any evidence of glaucoma itself and require no long-term glaucoma treatment. To prevent further narrowing of the angle and thus to prevent acute and chronic angle closure glaucoma, a Laser Peripheral Iridotomy is needed.
Laser Peripheral Iridotomy
When the passageway to the drains of the eye becomes narrow, among the first steps in preventing it from closing completely is placement of a laser peripheral iridotomy (LPI). The LPI can be thought of as a trap door that can be used to allow fluid to escape in the event that the angle closes off and the pressure in the eye begins to rise. In this procedure, laser energy is used to make a tiny hole in the iris. This hole helps alter anatomy inside the eye to maintain a more open passageway to normalize intraocular pressure in the event it should to increase.