Focal Laser - Learn What You Need to Know

The purpose of focal laser is to stop the leakage of fluid into the retina and prevent it from involving the central vision. Since this procedure is performed when the areas of leakage are outside the central vision, patients will not notice any improvement in their vision from the non-central edema resolving. This procedure will decrease the risk of patients requiring intravitreal injections in the future.

Focal laser is performed in the office under topical anesthesia. The procedure is performed at a slit lamp. A painless lens is placed gently on the eye.

The patient will be asked to look in a particular direction with the other eye and be very careful not to move the eye. The physician then applies small laser spots to pre-determined areas of the retina.

Patients will notice flashes of light and potentially a mild stinging sensation with each laser spot. The procedure typically takes less than 5 minutes. This procedure may be repeated.Β 


The vision will be dark followed by different colors for a few minutes after the procedure, but thereafter, the central vision should return to near normal. There may be a slight blurriness, which typically resolves after any remaining gel from the contact lens is rinsed out.

Focal laser may cause a mild blurring just outside the central vision, but nearly all patients do not notice any such symptoms. There may be a mild discomfort after the procedure. Tylenol is helpful for pain. Artificial tears are helpful if there is irritation to the front of the eye.

Focal Laser - Pre-Treatment
Focal Laser - Post-Treatment
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