I have a friend who recently went through a retinal laser surgery. Before the surgery, we joked that he was almost completely blind. Unfortunately, that was true! He had never had the best eyes, and as he got older, his eyesight just grew worse and worse. However, ever since the surgery, his eyes have been much better! He can see clearly and loves being able to not wear thick glasses. Now, I’m considering having the same operation done. I decided to ask him a few questions to better understand the pros and cons and why he chose to have the surgery done.
Retinal laser surgery is used to treat retinal holes or tears, small lesions in the retinal layer that can become more serious if they are not treated. For example, the fluid in the ocular globe could filter through one of these tears. An excessive accumulation of this liquid in the back of the retina could eventually lead to serious vision loss, especially harmful in those that already have vision problems. Retinal laser surgery is more of a preemptive treatment to stop these small holes from widening and posing a real threat.
The procedure is considered very safe; most of the time it doesn’t result in any damage or pain. It is also very simple: a laser is pointed at the holes in the retina, forcing a scar tissue to form on top of them. This closes the hole and eventually leads to the disappearance of any actual scar.
Diabetic patients sometimes have damaged blood vessels in their eye. This eye affectation can also be treated with retinal laser surgery. It’s better to treat this sooner rather than later as diabetic retinopathy is known for causing complete blindness if not treated correctly.
Doctors recommend having at least one medical eye check-up a year. A preemptive visit can save you from many future problems. Your vision is one of your most precious gifts; you should take care to preserve it. If you have any eye problems, it might be a good idea to talk to your optometrist about retinal laser eye surgery to head off the problems before they get worse.