Retinal Injury Induced by Laser Pointers
D. Israeli, Y. Hod, O. Geyer
Eye Dept., Carmel Medical Center, Haifa
Laser pointers originally designed for use during presentations are ubiquitous and are even sold as toys (such as pens or on key chains) in drug stores. Though reported as safe, the laser pointers still carry the risk of potential damage to the eye. We report a 16-year-old boy with bilateral retinal injury caused by 20-30 seconds of exposure to a laser pointing-device. Immediately thereafter, vision was blurred bilaterally and he noted a central red scotoma in each eye. Symptoms resolved spontaneously within 2 days but the retinal scars remained all during the 10 months of follow-up.
It is clear from our report and 3 other publications that retinal damage can develop from misusing laser pointers. Laser hazards and safety should be stressed for the general public. We recommend that laser-pointers should not be available as toys to children and teenagers.