Handheld Laser Pointer “Toys” May Cause Serious Eye Injuries

A 15-years old boy purchased a handheld laser pointer online. He wanted it to pop balloons from the distance and alter, this incorporated burning holes into paper cards and the sister’s footwear. Doctors from Lucerne Cantonal Hospital, Lucerne, Europe continue explaining inside a letter printed within the Colonial Journal of drugs (NEJM) what went down as he used the laser pointer before one.

The teen wanted to produce a “laser show” – he faced the mirror and zapped lasers in a number of directions. A few of the beams hit his eyes and the vision both in eyes blurred immediately. He didn’t tell his parents for anxiety about being told off or possibly causing unnecessary alarm, and wished the vision problems would disappear.

Two days passed and the eyesight problems ongoing. The boy visited visit a doctor.

The ophthalmic assessment says his eyesight had deteriorated badly in the left eye he can just count fingers on the hands far away of a maximum of 3 ft (about 1 meter) his right eye had 20/50 skill.

A test from the interior from the eye by having an ophthalmoscope detected a dense subretinal hemorrhage in the left macula, there have been also several “small round scars within the pigment epithelium from the foveolar region of his right eye”. The clinician identified bilateral retinal laser injuries – injuries to both eyes brought on by lasers.

Four several weeks later the boy’s eyesight enhanced, but there have been still some problems and scarring.

Laser pointers which were offered towards the public once had an optimum power 5mW, which isn’t considered dangerous for human eyesight. The hand held laser device the boy bought on the web was 150mW 75 occasions more effective, the authors authored.

Lasers that are effective enough to break human eyesight are usually used only by military personnel, and in such instances accidents and injuries are very uncommon.

Laser products having a potential as high as 700 mW can be purchased by anybody on the web, the Swiss doctors inform. You will find government limitations, but this doesn’t appear to prevent these items being offered online – they come as “laser pointers”, such as the ones lecturers use, and lots of look much like them.

These very effective products may cause serious and immediate eye injuries. They’re marketed as toys, while they may cause blindness. Teenagers locate them fascinating. You can even find laser swords along with other fun toys with effective lasers installed included.

How’s a young child who’s using one of these simple products, and yet another kids around him designed to tell an innocent laser pointer from the harmful one?

The authors conclude when the current condition of matters continues, you will see more such eye injuries.
“Retinal Injuries from a Handheld Laser Pointer”
N Engl J Med 2010; 363:1089-1091September 9, 2010
Stefan Wyrsch, M.D., Philipp B. Baenninger, M.D., Martin K. Schmid, M.D., (Lucerne Cantonal Hospital, Lucerne, Switzerland)