Thermal damage to the retina following laser irradiation may be predicted using impulse and steady asymptotes derived from a first-order rate process and a simple thermal model for two time domains. Effects which have been observed experimentally in the short pulse (<10−4s) region such as changes in energy per unit area for threshold damage as a function of image diameter may be explained with this model. The model allows rapid damage prediction without extensive calculations of temperature increase which normally require a large computer. Thermal damage to the ocular fundus resulting from a long pulse exposure may also be easily described with a simple steady-state model for temperature increase and damage.

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