When you tell people about using a laser to treat the retina, they usually don’t like the idea. But laser surgery can be so precise that it is the perfect solution for certain conditions that affect the retina.
The retina is the thin, delicate layer on the back of the eye that contains light-sensitive cells. When light enters the eye, these cells are stimulated and send nerve impulses to the brain, which then interprets them as a visual image. Unfortunately, certain conditions affect the retina.
Conditions requiring laser surgery
- Retinal tears or detachment — The retina can develop holes or tears. This is normal and usually doesn’t amount to anything larger. But if those holes or tears allow vitreous fluid inside the eye to flow onto the retina, retinal detachment can be the result, eventually leading to vision loss. To treat this, photocoagulation by a laser is the solution. The laser hits the holes or tears, causing scar tissue to form, closing then up.
- Diabetic retinopathy — When diabetes affects the eyes, abnormal vascular lesions can form on the retina. These lesions can cause blood and other fluids to leak into the center of the eye. Focal laser surgery is performed to remove or otherwise stop the growth of these lesions.
Scatter laser treatment is another type of retinal laser surgery used on diabetic retinopathy. It is also referred to as panretinal photocoagulation. The laser creates scattered burns on the abnormal blood vessels so that they form scar tissue and close off.
If you have any questions about problems with the retina or about retinal laser surgery, contact us at Griffeth Vision.