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Old 06-07-2011, 07:36 AM #1
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Default Damage to my eye from IR

I work for a parcel company and recently (3 months ago) started doing a large pickup stop (300+ packages) 5 days a week. The handheld scanner I use has a red laser so I assume there is some IR in there. It reflects back into my eyes when I scan boxes. Also when I put it in its holster it shines for 3-4 seconds until turning off in which it usually shines in my eyes a bit. On my left eye (the same side as my holster) I developed a pinguecula and it is quite irritated.

Does the light from a bar code scanner have IR?

From what I have read about pinguecula, it can be causes from IR. I have gone to the doctor and she gave me some drops and said to wear sunglasses. I pretty much figured it out on my own that it must be that scanner. I am going to visit an optometrist.

Can you buy glasses to block IR? And are they expensive?


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Old 06-07-2011, 07:54 AM #2
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Default Re: Damage to my eye from IR

As far as i remember, pinguecula is usually caused (or anyway facilitated) from UV exposition, not from IR exposition ..... is normally a degeneration of the conjunctive tissues.

If is not in the vision field, it can be ignored, or removed via surgery (but ocular surgery is always a risk, so need to consider if it worth that risk).

Anyway, in red lasers nor IR nor UV are presents, so it may not have something to do with your scanner (a different thing is if you have internal eye irritation, caused from the reflections ..... and, as safety principle, is always better to NEVER shine a laser inside your eye, no matter why) ..... anyway, if your scanner is causing you problems, and there is no other way for position it (so it don't shine in your eye when you use it or place it in the holster), and the company obligate you to use it, the company must also give you the related protections devices (at least, here the law say so, you need to check the laws of your country about safety on workplaces, for be sure).
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Old 06-07-2011, 01:02 PM #3
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Default Re: Damage to my eye from IR

Quote:
Originally Posted by jody View Post
I work for a parcel company and recently (3 months ago) started doing a large pickup stop (300+ packages) 5 days a week. The handheld scanner I use has a red laser so I assume there is some IR in there. It reflects back into my eyes when I scan boxes. Also when I put it in its holster it shines for 3-4 seconds until turning off in which it usually shines in my eyes a bit. On my left eye (the same side as my holster) I developed a pinguecula and it is quite irritated.

Does the light from a bar code scanner have IR?

From what I have read about pinguecula, it can be causes from IR. I have gone to the doctor and she gave me some drops and said to wear sunglasses. I pretty much figured it out on my own that it must be that scanner. I am going to visit an optometrist.

Can you buy glasses to block IR? And are they expensive?
1) NO... Red bar code scanners either use a RED LED or a low
power scanning RED wavelength Laser that DOES NOT emit IR radiation.

2) FALSE I can't see any way a RED Barcode scanner beam that is
certified safe to use causing your problem. (I am not a doctor)

3) Sure you can by IR glasses... but the RED beam will still go through
IR only Laser Safety goggles/Glasses...

BTW... if it is a hand held Barcode Scanner I find it difficult that
a beam would be reflected directly back into your eyes at the
angle a hand held bar code scanner is used...
You may see the beam on the barcode but only a tiny amount
would be seen by the eye...

My suggestion........... go see a professional to get an expert
diagnosis...


Jerry
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Old 06-07-2011, 03:49 PM #4
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Default Re: Damage to my eye from IR

Based on what you're saying it's not likely that the scanner is the cause.

As Jerry already said, most likely your scanner uses a low power red laser (possibly an led, but laser is more likely). Red lasers don't produce any IR or UV.

Typically these kinds of devices emit <5mW usually less than 1mW. Meaning even if you were looking directly into it, your blink reflex should easily protect you.

As for reflections, from a distance of even a foot, the amount of light hitting your eye would be insignificant.... A lot less than say the sun on a bright day.

Since you are concerned about your eyes, go see an ophthalmologist. Since you developed a pinguecula there is something going on... it's just not likely that it's laser related.
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Old 06-07-2011, 05:35 PM #5
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Default Re: Damage to my eye from IR

i think this is what lasersbee is trying to say

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Old 06-07-2011, 06:16 PM #6
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Default Re: Damage to my eye from IR

Quote:
Originally Posted by chipdouglas View Post
i think this is what lasersbee is trying to say

Excellently illustrated, my good sir.

But yeah barcode scanners DO NOT emit light in IR wavelengths, and are not NEARLY powerful enough to cause damage to your eyes via diffuse reflections.

Unless you're pointing the scanner at your face, I highly doubt the scanner is the source of your problem.
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Old 06-07-2011, 07:34 PM #7
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Default Re: Damage to my eye from IR

Illustrations are a great tool
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Old 06-07-2011, 09:16 PM #8
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Default Re: Damage to my eye from IR



I needed that...

In all seriousness, The scanner can't hurt your eyes and if used as Illustrated ^^ you shouldn't even get eye strain from it. Try doing it at a different angle and think of other situations that could cause it, because it can;t be the scanner. Hope you figure it out.
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Old 06-07-2011, 11:33 PM #9
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Default Re: Damage to my eye from IR

Those barcode scanners are usually very innocent devices really, the output never exceeds MPE, so even directly into it should not do any damage (though i wont recommend it).

Most of them don't actually need the laser to read the barcode, as that is done with a digital camera. The red line is just a very low power aiming aid for the person using it, so you know which barcode you are scanning if the are a bunch of them fairly close together.
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Old 06-08-2011, 12:38 AM #10
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Default Re: Damage to my eye from IR

Quote:
Originally Posted by chipdouglas View Post
i think this is what lasersbee is trying to say

I like it when someone can make sense out of my
mumblings....

You got it spot on...

@ Benm.... if the beam profile on a surface is a narrow
line it is more than likely to be a scanned beam rather
than a digital camera...
If on the other hand it is a spot then I can see a digital
camera being used as in an optical pointing mouse for a
computer....


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Old 06-08-2011, 12:54 AM #11
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Default Re: Damage to my eye from IR

Does your building/dock station have unshielded Metal Halide lighting ?

Are you a sun worshiper, like to tan?

It would be one billion to one odds that a class IIIA red bar code scanner would have caused your injury. In fact LONG exposures of small weak red lasers are thought by some MDs to stimulate healing, although the jury is still out on that one.

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Old 06-08-2011, 07:00 AM #12
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Default Re: Damage to my eye from IR

I am now holstering the scanner with the beam inside the holster so it is not shining upwards anymore. I personally do find the beam does reflect back quite bright. Although I am standing further away now to reduce eye strain.

Here are a few videos to show how bright the beam is. One is in the dark and the other with the room lights on.





Thanks for all your replies and clearing up my question on whether the scanner contains IR
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Old 06-08-2011, 07:58 AM #13
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Default Re: Damage to my eye from IR

The power is probably class 2 brightness, which would make it very eyesafe. You might have eyestrain just because you don't like looking at it, or the pattern the laser reflects is harder to focus on, but not because the beam is dangerous. Try comparing the brightness of your scanner to a cheapo red laser pointer and it'll demonstrate just how low power the light is coming from the scanner.
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Old 06-08-2011, 11:44 AM #14
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Default Re: Damage to my eye from IR

I can see in the videos that the beam is indeed scanning
and not fixed. That alone will reduce the available refected
energy entering your eyes...

I also see that there is a glow below the scanned line that
looks to be almost as bright as the scanned beam making
the scanned bean hard to distinguish in the videos..

Have you had your scanner checked that it functions
correctly and the optics are still aligned ??
Have you compared your scanner with another worker's
barcode scanner ??
Even if your Scanner was not adjusted correctly it would
still not be dangerous to you...


Jerry
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Old 06-08-2011, 03:37 PM #15
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Default Re: Damage to my eye from IR

Looked over both of the videos.

To be perfectly honest, the reflection does not seem overly bright, especially under normal lighting conditions.

You might just be more sensitive to red light... or the flash pattern. Look into glasses that specifically block out red. Go to a wallmart or some store where they have a ton of sunglasses, and test out a few... some do more than others to block on the wavelength.
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Old 06-09-2011, 12:36 AM #16
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Default Re: Damage to my eye from IR

Thats entirely possible - its not something that happens in your eyes, but something in the brain. Some people get irritated by some flashing frequencies - personally i find the 50/100Hz flicker of LED traffic lights extreme distracting, though its not harmful to my eyes by a long shot.
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