Purpose: To study the clinical course of accidental, single-focus Nd:YAG laser injuries to the macula.
Methods: We reviewed the clinical course of five eyes (four patients) that sustained macular injuries from a Nd:YAG laser. All patients were examined within 24 hours of injury and were observed without surgical intervention for a mean of 20 months (range, 12 to 32 months).
Results: A single full-thickness foveal or parafoveal retinal hole was apparent in all eyes either on initial examination or within two weeks of injury. All macular holes were within 650 microns of the foveal center. The mean final visual acuity was 20/60 (range, 20/25 to 20/400) and was related to the distance between the macular hole and the foveal center. None of the eyes developed either subretinal neovascularization or clinically significant epiretinal membrane formation during the study period.
Conclusions: Despite initial poor visual acuity in patients who had a full-thickness foveal or parafoveal retinal hole, visual acuity improved without treatment when the site of the laser injury was located outside the foveal center.