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Old 04-02-2016, 02:22 PM #1
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Default Could I have eye damage?

I absentmindedly pointed a laser at a mirror about half an hour ago. I viewed the reflection from a few feet away before looking away. I had no blurred vision or floaters when this happened and have not experienced any symptoms of eye damage. Is it likely that my eyes have been damaged even if I experience no symptoms?


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Old 04-02-2016, 03:33 PM #2
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Default Re: Could I have eye damage?

How powerful was the laser?
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Old 04-02-2016, 04:49 PM #3
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Default Re: Could I have eye damage?

Not enough info, but it sounds like you have nothing to worry about. Anything up to 5mW and your blink reflex will almost certainly save you, beyond 5mW can do permanent damage, of course after reflecting off the mirror and hitting you in the eye at some distance means you get some fraction of the lasers power to the eye. Be more careful in the future, even if you get minor damage to an eye that you don't notice, that damage can be permanent, that means cumulative, so what I mean is even very minor damage multiple times and then you have a problem.

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Old 04-02-2016, 07:00 PM #4
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Default Re: Could I have eye damage?

Did the actual beam hit your eye? You said you viewed the reflection - not that the beam hit you in the eye.
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Old 04-02-2016, 09:54 PM #5
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Default Re: Could I have eye damage?

mirror reflection or direct hit is still a hit in the eye by a laser...Go to an eye doctor!!
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Old 04-02-2016, 11:34 PM #6
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Default Re: Could I have eye damage?

FYI 'ordinary' eye Drs do not often have the kind of equipment needed to see very small retina burns-and there is pretty much no treatment in cases like this one-there are not many symptoms .. like pain or 'blind spots' Wehave no pain sensing 'parts' in our eyes. I strongly advise being more careful-windows-glass-mirrors , shiny metal ALL can reflect harmful beams- Whatever you were trying to do SHOULD have been done wearing the proper glasses..for the wavelength....LASERS ARE NOT TOYS!!
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Old 04-02-2016, 11:37 PM #7
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Default Re: Could I have eye damage?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Isaac Clarke View Post
mirror reflection or direct hit is still a hit in the eye by a laser...Go to an eye doctor!!
Well no, a direct hit is a direct hit. Whether it is off of a mirror or not. Just viewing the beam reflected off of a mirror isn't a direct hit so there wouldn't be eye damage. Was just asking for the sake of clarification.

But yes IC, you're right - if you think you may have eye damage from a laser go see an eye doctor.
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Old 04-03-2016, 09:08 AM #8
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Default Re: Could I have eye damage?

Hi guys, a day has passed and I still haven't noticed any difference in my eyesight. I'm not sure how powerful the laser is as it doesn't seem to say on it, but I forgot to say yesterday that the laser has two modes: the normal single dot laser and then one that creates a sort of pattern with a number of small dots. It was on the pattern mode when I saw it in the mirror. Does this make a difference?
Thank you all for your help, I'm definitely a bit of a hypochondriac and worry a lot about my health but the fact that I've had no change in my sight has calmed me down a bit. I also did the Amsler test on both eyes and I had no irregularities. Safe to say though I will probably never pick up a laser pen again!

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Old 04-03-2016, 09:29 AM #9
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Default Re: Could I have eye damage?

Wait, so if I pointed it at the mirror and looked at the mirror for a second, is that not a direct hit?
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Old 04-03-2016, 05:14 PM #10
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Default Re: Could I have eye damage?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pinkymouse View Post
Hi guys, a day has passed and I still haven't noticed any difference in my eyesight. I'm not sure how powerful the laser is as it doesn't seem to say on it, but I forgot to say yesterday that the laser has two modes: the normal single dot laser and then one that creates a sort of pattern with a number of small dots. It was on the pattern mode when I saw it in the mirror. Does this make a difference?
Thank you all for your help, I'm definitely a bit of a hypochondriac and worry a lot about my health but the fact that I've had no change in my sight has calmed me down a bit. I also did the Amsler test on both eyes and I had no irregularities. Safe to say though I will probably never pick up a laser pen again!
The pattern mode would make a huge difference, that means you got a tiny fraction of the lasers power to the eye.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pinkymouse View Post
Wait, so if I pointed it at the mirror and looked at the mirror for a second, is that not a direct hit?
Sort of but not really, unless you had a front surface mirror of the type used for experimenting with lasers, I assume this was a normal mirror, if so then there would be a power loss after the reflection off the mirror, also due to the divergence of the laser (beam expansion over distance) the power density is reduced compared to if you pointed it directly in your eye (distance to and from the mirror). Sorry it's not a simple matter to say what's safe and what isn't, but now I don't think you need to worry.

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Old 04-03-2016, 06:22 PM #11
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Default Re: Could I have eye damage?

Hi,
Funny i been seeing a lot of these posts lately, And it seems to me folks aren't taking extra precautions to the safety factors involved here. To every one reading and had a similar issues please be safe and use these devices with utmost care of handling them. welt be 5mW's or 7+W's all the same safety and protective gasses of the correct WL. Hey sorry to hear about your misfortune be safe and have fun..

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Old 04-06-2016, 01:22 AM #12
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Default Re: Could I have eye damage?

..even the brightest of 'beamlets' will be a power divided between them all with the sometimes exception of the center beam being the brightest.. reflection off an ordinary OR Front Surface mirror should be thought of as a direct or interbeam viewing ....very bad... maybe as much as 99% of the original beam and maybe 95% from a regular mirror..

hope you have no other effects...hak
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Old 04-09-2016, 10:11 AM #13
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Default Re: Could I have eye damage?

I am sorry to hear that. Is there any chance for you to see a doctor? You should really have your pair of goggles before playing with laser.
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Old 04-09-2016, 02:04 PM #14
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Default Re: Could I have eye damage?

Damn, all dat spam..
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Old 04-10-2016, 12:52 AM #15
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Default Re: Could I have eye damage?

As for reflections off of mirrors go: in does not matter that much.

Surely a 99.9 reflective mirror can make a laser work and a 96% reflective mirror can be totally unusable in the cavity etc.

This has to do with making a laser cavity work, not with how bad an injury can be. A totally simple mirror like the one in your bathroom will reflect 80-95% of light, and an 'indirect' hit from a reflection of one of those is just about as bad as a direct hit in the eye.

For that matter even window glass is considered to be fairly dangerous - if it reflects only 5% of light (not unusual) the reflection of a 1 watt laser from a window pane could do instant damage... and who considers their windows to be mirrors at all?
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