If you have laser pointers in your house, you must keep them away from your children or considering throwing them away.
Optometrists in Australia have warned parents of the possible damaging effects of a laser pointer after a 14-year old boy in Tasmania lost 75% of his vision after shining the tiny gadget, which is deemed by many as toys, on his eyes.
After suffering from vision problems, the boy went to see optometrist Ben Armitage, who went on to investigate what caused the eyesight issues.
Armitage recounted: “He came into see me and on the Friday night he’d got hold of a laser pen and unfortunately shined it in his eyes for a very brief period of time. Unfortunately he’s managed to cause himself permanent damage to the back of his eye.”
Although the boy did not feel any pain, the laser pointer instantly damaged his eyes and vision.
Apparently, the boy’s vision is now down to approximately 25% of the 20/20 vision. Mr. Armitage believes that it will be unlikely that the vision is going to recover at this point. However, he is hopeful that there may be some improvements after the swelling reduces.
“We’re hoping that as the swelling goes down the size of those burns goes down as well and can help restore some vision,” Armitage said.
Optometry Tasmania chief executive Geoff Squibb said that the boy’s case clearly shows the level of damage these laser pointers can cause on a person’s vision. Squibb advised parents not to purchase laser pointers or to closely supervise their children when using this gadget.
What are Laser Pointers?
Also called a laser pen, a laser pointer is a small handheld device that emits a very narrow coherent low-powered laser beam of visible light, according to Wikipedia.
Usually used to highlight something of interest by lighting up with a small bright spot of colored light, it usually comes with a power source that does not usually exceed 5 mW.
This device can cause temporary disturbances or even serious damages to the vision when pointed at a person’s eyes.