Laser photocoagulation is a laser surgery type for the eyes. It is performed to treat age-related macular degeneration. ADM is a situation that can lead to loss of vision.
The retina is the layer of cells in the back of your eye that changes light into electrical signals. Your retina then sends these signals to your brain. ADM affects your macula. The macula is the central, sensitive part of your retina. This area is liable for the full vision in the middle of your visual field. ADM damages your macula. Blood vessels may develop beneath your macula, causing fluid and blood to leak beneath it. This excess blood and fluid can be the reason of vision loss.
Laser photocoagulation uses the heat from a laser to damage or seal abnormal, leaking blood vessels in the retina. One of the 2 approaches may be used when treating diabetic retinopathy:
Focal treatment is used to seal specific leaking blood vessels in a little area of the retina, generally close to the macula. The ophthalmologist identifies individual blood vessels for treatment and makes a restricted number of laser burns to seal them off.
Scatter (pan-retinal) photocoagulation
Scatter treatment is used to reduce the growth of new abnormal blood vessels that have developed over a bigger area of the retina. The ophthalmologist may take 100 of laser burns on the retina to prevent the blood vessels from growing. The person may need 2 or more treatment sessions.
Laser photocoagulation is generally not painful. You may feel a pretty stinging sensation or view brief flashes of light when the laser is applied to your eye.
Laser photocoagulation burns and damage part of the retina and generally outcomes in some real vision loss. This is generally unavoidable. Treatment may cause mild loss of central vision, decrease night vision, and decreased capability to focus. Some people may lose some of their part vision. But the vision loss caused by laser treatment is mild matched with the vision loss that may be caused by untreated retinopathy. Rare complications of laser photocoagulation may cause extreme vision loss. These contain:
- Bleeding in the eye
- Traction retinal detachment
- Accidental laser burn of the fovea this outcome in extreme central vision loss.
What to think about
The biggest issue to laser photocoagulation is the laser destroys some of the light-sensitive never cells in the macula and retina.
But the quick vision loss caused by laser treatment must be calculated against the more extreme vision loss that could outcome from untreated retinopathy. For people who have diabetic retinopathy, laser photocoagulation will extremely likely help stop more severe vision loss over time.
Diabetes professionals agree that early treatment and detection of retinopathy can stop many, or even most, cases of extreme vision loss and blindness in people who have diabetes.
Be sure to keep your blood sugar levels very low after laser treatment. Even if you eyes are excellent, diabetic retinopathy will keep getting bad over time if your blood sugar levels rise again.