Laser Treatment

Laser is an intense beam of light that can be precisely focused to treat certain diseases of the retina. Its main purpose is to preserve your current level of vision and prevent further loss of vision. The retina is a delicate lining in the back of the eye where the images you see are formed.

The three most common types of retinal disease treated with laser are:

Retinal Tear or Hole

Laser treatment seals the layers of the retina together. If not treated, fluid leaks through these tears or holes causing these layers to separate and detach. This causes loss of vision depending on the degree of detachment.

After the laser treatment:
  • Your vision will be blurred immediately after your treatment
  • The dilation drops will also cause blurred vision. This will clear in 3 – 4 hours
  • Continue your usual eye drops and medications
  • Dr Hornsby will instruct you about any activities that you should limit
  • You will also be given your next appointment
  • It is recommended that you do not drive on the day of your laser treatment.
  • Please ask Dr Hornsby for advice

Report sudden loss of vision or severe pain to Dr Hornsby immediately.

Diabetic Eye Disease

Diabetes mainly causes two types of damage to the retina

  1. In the first type of damage, leakage occurs from small blood vessels causing swelling, which, if it occurs in the centre of vision, can blur vision.

    Laser can be used in some individuals to stop this leakage

  2. In the second type of damage, existing blood vessels are blocked and new blood vessels grow into the eye where they can break and bleed.

    Laser treatment is used to stop these blood vessels from growing and reducing the risk of vision loss.

Macular Degeneration

As the eye ages, abnormal blood vessels can grow under the retina in the centre of sight in some patients. If this happens, the straight-ahead vision used for reading can be lost. Laser is effective in some cases in destroying these abnormal blood vessels and stabilising vision.

Getting ready for a laser treatment session:
  • Eat your meals as usual
  • It is suggested that someone accompany you
  • Take your eye drops and all medications as usual
  • Register at the reception desk on arrival
  • You will be asked to sign a consent form
  • You will be at the surgery for at least one hour
  • Your eyes will be very sensitive to light when the pupils are dilated, so wearing sunglasses is recommended. This is very important on bright sunny days.

What happens during laser treatment?
  • Your pupils will be dilated to give your doctor a good view
  • You will be seated at a microscope, similar to the one used during your consultation, as the laser beam is controlled through the microscope
  • During the treatment, you should try to keep your teeth together and your head pushed forward against the band
  • Local anaesthetic (drops) will be placed in your eye. This is to prevent discomfort from the special contact lens placed on your eye to hold your lids apart. This lens also magnifies the area begin treated.
  • During treatment, you will see bright flashes of light. Laser treatment is almost always painless, although sometimes a patient may have slight discomfort.
  • The treatment will take between 5 – 15 minutes, depending on the amount of treatment needed

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Suite 15, Mater Medical Centre
76 Willetts Road
Mackay QLD 4740


(07) 4942 3301


(07) 4942 9815
Fig 1. Illustration of the retina.
Image - Illustration of the retina
Fig 2. Illustration of laser surgery.
Image - Laser surgery
Fig 3. Eye examination.
Image - Eye examination


The information provided here is for general education only and should not be construed as individual medical advice. For advice relevant to your particular situation, please speak to Dr Hornsby.