Conditions such as diabetic retinopathy and retinal vein occlusion can cause blockage of blood vessels. This causes lack of oxygen in the retinal tissues that depend on the blood supply (ischaemia). Severe retinal ischaemia can lead to growth of abnormal blood vessels, which will bleed and scar the retina, and ultimately cause blindness. Laser is used to burn ischaemic retinal tissues that cannot be saved.
Retinal Tear or Weakness
Torn retina can be sealed off with laser. It works much like spot-welding. The laser burn creates scars that will stick the retina onto the wall of the eye. Sometimes, a weak patch of retina may be treated to prevent a tear in the future. The treatment can be painful.
Leaking Blood Vessels
Leaking spots in the macula or abnormal blood vessels can be closed off with laser if it is not in the middle of the macula. The treatment is usually painless.
Laser can be used to treat swelling of the macula. The treatment is painless because it uses low energy. Some patients may see black dots in the vision after treatment, which disappear in most cases.
Laser burns: High energy means the treatment can be painful
Retinal Laser Treatment
Laser is a concentrated beam of light of a certain colour, that can deliver high energy to burn or cut tissues in your eye. Laser is used to treat many retinal conditions.