Laser photocoagulation burns and destroys part of the retina and often results in some permanent vision loss. This is usually unavoidable. Treatment may cause mild loss of central vision, reduced night vision and decreased ability to focus. Some people may lose some of their side (peripheral) vision. But the vision loss caused by laser treatment is mild compared with the vision loss that may be caused by untreated retinopathy.
Rare complications of laser photocoagulation may cause severe vision loss. These include:
- Bleeding in the eye (vitreous hemorrhage).
- Traction retinal detachment.
- Accidental laser burn of the fovea (a depression in the central macula that contains no blood vessels). This results in severe central vision loss.
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