The most common application of lasers is the use of the YAG laser to perform a procedure called POSTERIOR CAPSULOTOMY. In this procedure, a patient who has had previous cataract surgery may have subsequent cloudy vision due to clouding of the posterior capsule (so called after cataract or secondary cataract). A YAG laser can painlessly clear the vision and does not require an anesthetic injection and usually does not require postoperative medications.
Are lasers used for anything other than cataract surgery?
Other applications of lasers include the use of Argon laser for treatment of glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, vein occlusions, retinal holes and retinal detachments, wild hairs on the eyelid, and rarely In early forms of the wet type of age related macular degeneration. New lasers are being developed and it is hopeful that these may provide more effective treatment for glaucoma and age related macular degeneration. A Krypton laser is sometimes used for a variety of retinal diseases.
In summary, the use of ophthalmic lasers has become very common place in the surgical care of many eye disorders and in the case of a cloudy capsule can clear vision and in the case of other disorders can preserve sight. Unfortunately, some of the retinal diseases in which an Argon or Krypton laser is used fail to respond to treatment. It is hopeful that further scientific breakthroughs will develop to more effectively treat retinal diseases.