Medical Management
| Laser | Surgery | Contacts

HREA Specialty:  Laser

The physicians at Hampton Roads Eye Associates offer comprehensive laser treatments for several eye diseases.  The word laser stands for “Light Amplification by Stimulated Emissions of Radiation.”  A laser is simply a concentrated beam of light which is either thermal (becomes heated when it reaches the eye) or photodisruptive (cuts or sculpts tissue, similar to a knife).

Thermal lasers are used to stop leakage of blood or other fluids from veins and arteries in the eye, primarily in patients with diabetes and macular degeneration.  In addition, this type of laser can destroy abnormal tissue such as a tumor, and seal retinal holes to prevent retinal detachments.  Furthermore, thermal lasers are used to treat glaucoma by opening the eye’s filtration system to decrease eye pressure.

Photodisruptive lasers are used to cut membranes inside the eye which block vision, most commonly after cataract surgery.  Refractive surgery such as LASIK utilizes this type of laser to change the shape of the eye’s surface to reduce a patient’s need for glasses or contact lenses.  Acute attacks of glaucoma are also treated by photodisruptive lasers.

Laser surgery has many advantages:

  • There is no risk of infection from the laser light
  • Laser surgery is performed in an outpatient setting
  • The surgeon has great precision and control