What it Means When a Retina Specialist Suggests a Micropulse Laser Treatment

If you have been recommended micropulse laser treatment by your retina specialist, you probably have a few questions about what the procedure entails and whether or not it’s right for you. Micropulse laser treatment is used to treat retinal diseases and glaucoma. The procedure is being offered by more eye specialists because of its safety and efficacy. Still, micropulse laser is a treatment that should be carefully considered.

What is Micropulse Laser Treatment? What Does it Treat?

Micropulse laser treatment is a tissue-sparing solution that is successful at treating retinal diseases and glaucoma. During the procedure, a continuous-wave laser beam is broken down into tiny, low-energy pulses that are separated by a short rest period. This gives the tissues a chance to cool down and rest between the laser pulses. Micropulse laser can be used as a standalone treatment or in conjunction with other drugs.

The most common conditions that micropulse laser therapy treats are:

Glaucoma. Laser therapy can be successful in treating glaucoma, and it requires no incisions, minimal inflammation and almost no patient downtime. The procedure is also repeatable in glaucoma patients because it is non-damaging.

Retinal Diseases. Retinal diseases such as diabetic macular edema, macular edema associated with vein occlusions, central serous retinopathy and proliferative diabetic retinopathy can be treated with micropulse laser treatment. The procedure can be repeated, and patients find it to be more comfortable than other treatments.

Why Would a Retina Specialist Recommend Micropulse Laser Treatment?

A retina specialist may recommend micropulse laser treatment if you have a retinal disease and would make a good candidate for the procedure. More eye doctors are moving away from traditional photocoagulation because the continuous-wave laser output can affect nearby tissues.

What makes laser treatment unique is that it chops up the laser emission into a train of short pulses. This gives the tissues a chance to rest before the next burst of energy is delivered, and it also prevents heat spreading to nearby tissue and causing damage.

Micropulse laser treatment is proving to be more comfortable and efficient compared to other treatments, but you should still discuss your options with a retinal specialist. If you and your eye doctor decide to go this route, do your research and understand the risks and benefits to treating glaucoma or other retinal diseases with laser therapy.