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It is difficult to imagine modern ophthalmology without a laser. These devices are extremely precise, sterile and very fast. They are used to correct vision defects, treat retinal diseases, cataracts and glaucoma. How does laser treatment of eye diseases work?

Laser treatment of eye diseaseshas been available recently. The widespread use of lasers in ophthalmology dates back to the beginning of the 1980s. However, the first attempts to use its potential appeared in the early 1960s. Poland was one of the first countries in Europe to use lasers in ophthalmology. The team of scientists from the Department of Fundamentals of Radio Technology of the Military University of Technology, led by prof. dr. Eng. Zbigniew Puzewicz, who in 1963 launched the first solid-state laser (ruby) in Poland. It became the basis for the ophthalmic coagulator built two years later. Modern ophthalmologists use several types of lasers, and the choice of device depends on the type of surgery and the part of the eye to be treated. Paradoxical as it may sound - lasers heal by destroying. Simplifying the problem, the lasers quickly and precisely eliminate the targeted cells, and the lasered tissue evaporates.

Laser cataract removal

Yag lasers are used for this, which work like a surgical knife. During surgery, the damaged lens is removed, but the "wrapping", the lens bag, is left behind. An artificial lens is implanted in this place. This bag may become cloudy over time. To remove opacities, a yag laser is used, i.e. one that can cut the lens bag in the center of the eye without having to open it. Within a few months, the ocular enzymes will absorb the cut bag and the patient will regain good vision.

Laser glaucoma treatment

If it is not controlled by the use of eye pressure-lowering drops, the laser can widen the gaps in the tear angle, and thus - improve the outflow of fluid from the eye. The (yag) laser is also used in the event of an acute attack of glaucoma to create many small holes that allow the fluid to flow freely in the eye.

Glaucoma - what should you know about it?

Laser heals retinal diseases

The so-called argon or green lasers that have a wavelength of 532 nm (nm - nanometer; onea nanometer is one billionth of a meter or one millionth of a millimeter). The laser is used to reach the retinal pigment epithelium and create a local inflammation which, while healing, produces a scar after just a few days. Retina laser treatment is performed when it is torn or detached. The laser beam connects the edges of the retina as if welding them together, which prevents the retinal detachment.

The laser breaks the floaters

Floats, debris, flying flies - this is how we often talk about the phenomenon of seeing strange shapes. Floaters are pollutants found in the vitreous body of the eye. If they are close to the center of the field of view, they can be distracting. Most often we notice them against a light background, e.g. snow, ceiling, sky, against the background of a computer monitor. On bright days, floaters are also visible with closed eyes. Usually they are not a threat to the person seeing them, but they can be a cause of considerable discomfort. The laser breaks the dust into tiny pieces that we do not notice. Floaters stay in the eye but no longer bother.

Laser saves sight of premature babies with retinopathy

In children born prematurely, the retina of the eye from the side of the temple is immature, insufficiently developed and lacks blood vessels. This results in hypoxia of the retina. When this happens, the body produces substances that cause proliferation, i.e., the production of additional blood vessels. These vessels, however, do not develop horizontally, like he althy vessels, but overgrow the retina towards the center of the eye, i.e. into the vitreous. This causes the vitreous to shift, and these movements break the ends of the blood vessels. The consequence is repeated strokes - the cause of inoperable retinal detachment. To avoid this, in premature babies, the ischemic area of ​​the retina is lasered, i.e. the area devoid of blood vessels is destroyed so that it does not take oxygen from he althy parts of the retina. The goal of such surgery is to protect against proliferation, the process that leads to retinal detachment. Thanks to this, the child maintains good eyesight - without the procedure he will not be able to see.

Laser cleans vessels

The most common eye diseases are ailments occurring in the course of diabetes and central retinal vein thrombosis. The laser destroys the peripheral part of the retina, which cannot see but still needs nutrients and oxygen. If these fragments of the retina are destroyed with the laser, nutrients and oxygen will be transferred to the central part of the retina, which is the one that can see. For people with diabetes who develop eye complications, laser treatmentretina is the only chance to preserve your vision.

Laser frees you from glasses

Most often, the laser is used to eliminate myopia, farsightedness and astigmatism. The essence of the treatments is to model the cornea with a laser, i.e. the outermost, transparent layer of the eye.

The procedure relieves the patient from wearing glasses and contact lenses, but not everyone can have it. Qualification is preceded by a series of tests that confirm good he alth. The patient must be at least 21 years old and have no other eye diseases. How is the procedure performed? The tip of the laser sucks on the cornea, flattening it.

Then the laser cuts the corneal epithelium by itself, leaving a small fragment intact (as we do when opening a tin). The surgeon enters the incision with a special spatula and sets the epithelium aside (this can be compared to folding a pancake in half). A laser works on the exposed deeper layers of the cornea, which models it in such a way as to get rid of the sight defect. After correcting the surface of the cornea, the epithelium returns to its place.

The most modern device used to correct vision defects is the femtosecond laser, which enables a very precise incision of the cornea without the use of other tools. Everyone who has undergone laser vision correction should keep a complete set of examinations for the future. When other eye surgery is required, e.g. lens replacement due to cataracts, they will help to select the most appropriate method.

Contraindication to laser vision correction is too thin cornea, glaucoma, cataracts, retinal diseases or degenerative changes in the vessels of the eye. Treatments are not performed in people with recurrent conjunctivitis, suffering from dry eyes and prone to herpes. They are also not done in patients with diabetes, taking certain medications, having a pacemaker, or in pregnant women.

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