Laser treatments are used in a variety of clinical situations, ranging from eye disease to a variety of skin conditions et cetera. The use of laser treatment to prevent blindness was a major breakthrough in the management of severe diabetic eye disease and has now extended through to retinal detachment repair; retinovascular diseases, such as branch and central retinal vein occlusions and central serous chorioretinopathy. The most commonly used laser in eye disease is a greenish colour of 532 nm. This treatment is particularly relevant in situations where areas of the diseased retina need to be eliminated (like pruning a plant), or where the retina must be scarred down to the tissue underneath, particularly for retinal detachment repair. This treatment remains the mainstay to prevent diabetic blindness, although injectable drugs are playing an increasing role to control the disease without damaging the retina.
This treatment is performed in the office with local anaesthetic drops on the eye. Repetitive brief flashes of light can be uncomfortably bright and sometimes cause some mild to moderate discomfort, but it is rare for somebody to need an antibiotic injection or to have unmanageable pain. This treatment remains extremely effective in preventing blindness and is an essential treatment for many people
There is no after-effect, although it takes a couple of minutes for the dazzle to wear off just like going from a bright sunny day into a cinema. There is no damage to the remainder of the eye from the bright flashes of light – just like there are no damaging effects from photographic flashlights at a party.