To the Editor.
—The Zeiss xenon-arc photocoagulator is and has been the most widely used photocoagulator for many years since its development by Prof Gerd Meyer-Schwickerath in the early 1950s. It has been extensively and successfully used for the treatment of retinal tears, postoperatively in retinal detachment surgery, and more recently for the treatment of diabetic retinopathy and vascular lesions of the retina.1While the use of high intensity light energy may be beneficial in the treatment of various forms of retinal pathology, the byproducts of the light coagulation mechanism may in turn have deleterious effects on the patient as well as the operator. On several occasions, those of us here at Mount Sinai Hospital who have used the xenon-arc light coagulator have noted the onset of respiratory discomfort, such as cough, congestion, and a tightening sensation in the chest when taking a deep inspiration, during and after
Hein HF, Freilich DB. Nonocular Hazards of Photocoagulation. Arch Ophthalmol. 1973;89(2):170-171. doi:10.1001/archopht.1973.01000040172026