True or False: Lasers and Eye Care

posted by Curtis Turchin, MA, DC on Friday, June 19, 2015

True or false: Low-level lasers are dangerous to the eyes.

If you answered true, you wouldn’t be alone. But you would also be incorrect. While many people believe that all lasers are dangerous to the eyes, nothing could be further from the truth.

While there’s no question that hot lasers with highly collimated, pointed beams can be very damaging (even the intense and narrow beams from your average $25 laser pointer can be harmful), diffuse beams such as those used in the Apollo low-level laser therapy (LLLT) systems are quite safe. 

In fact, researchers are currently looking at how these low-level lasers can treat common eye disorders and even help prevent blindness. Studies have shown that LLLT can help regenerate damaged retinas, which are very difficult to treat and repair using traditional medical procedures. Macular degeneration is a leading cause of blindness in older adults, but LLLT has been found to improve eyes affected by macular degeneration for up to three years after treatment. Other studies have demonstrated LLLT’s efficacy in treating diabetic macular edema and retinitis pigmentosa.

In these human studies, low-level laser therapy is applied through the eyelid, which helps further diffuse the beam that goes into the back of the eye. Following treatment, researchers are able to measure visual acuity and ability to focus to determine how laser therapy has been able to improve the many aspects of visual function.

The early success of these research studies are spurring an increase of research in this area, which has so far found no side effects to LLLT as a treatment for these eye disorders. Similar to research into LLLT for the brain and central nervous system, vision is another area where research is far advanced relative to how lasers are commonly being used, i.e. for pain relief. Here, too, the potential is enormous—for a painless, simple-to-use and effective therapy that could save the sight and visual acuity of millions of people.


About Author

Dr. Curtis Turchin, MA, DC is an internationally known expert in the field of laser therapy for the treatment of acute and chronic pain. He has used laser treatment for nearly 30 years and serves as director of clinical sciences for Apollo Lasers.

Turchin is a ... read more