Technology: How it works - Lasers

Dr Douglas Clarkson discusses the basics of lasers and their application within ophthalmology

Optical technologies have played a highly significant role in the development of clinical services within ophthalmology and where the key role of lasers as a mode of treatment has often been made possible by the use of lasers within diagnostic/imaging technology. It is the specific use of lasers as therapeutic tools, however, that is the specific area of application subsequently described.

Laser technology provides a fundamentally unique means of generation of light and where a typical laser resonator (something needed to build up light energy in the beam) is indicated, see figure 1. In this example, laser diodes activate a rod of Nd:YAG crystal.

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