The focal laser is a popular treatment for patients suffering from Diabetic Retinopathy or Wet ARMD (Age-Related Macular Degeneration).
Patients with Diabetic Retinopathy will sometimes have weak blood vessels in the eye that can leak blood and fluid into the retina. Anyone with diabetes is at risk to develop retinopathy, and approximately 45% of Americans with diabetes have some stage of retinopathy.
With ARMD, new blood vessels behind the retina grow toward the macula, often leaking blood and fluid and causing rapid damage. Wet ARMD affects approximately 10% of all people with ARMD, but it accounts for almost 90% of severe vision loss.
How the Treatment Is Performed
The laser is performed in our office once the eye has been dilated and numbed with eye drops. Once seated at the laser, a small lens will be placed on your eye to allow the ophthalmologist to view the vessels in the back of the eye while the laser is applied. Basically, the laser will place several hundred small laser burns around the area of leakage, which can help reduce the risk of vision loss by up to 50%.The procedure takes just a few minutes and is virtually painless.
Most patients are able to return home immediately following the treatment. The procedure may not always improve your vision, but it is designed to reduce the progression of leaking blood vessels and resulting loss of vision.