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Old 04-16-2012, 07:04 AM #1
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Default Green Laser shined in my eye

First, I'm a noob when it comes to lasers. All I know is that they should be treated with respect, and don't shine them at people (or anything with eyes).

So, yesterday evening, a person shined their laser at me and it got me in my right (dominant) eye. It was a 165 mW green laser. What damage, if any, has this done to my eye? My vision doesn't appear to be significantly effected, but I've read that the brain is very good at "filling in" blind spots with interrelated data from around the blind spot. My eye does "feel funny". It feels like it is ever so slightly out of focus. I feel like I want to rub it like I would when I wake up in the morning and my eyes are blurred by tears or something.

Second question. Is the mere reflection from this type of laser, off say a wall, dangerous. Another stupid thing that was done with this laser is that somebody shined it against the side of tents with people inside them. (We were camping.) It seems to me that even though tent fabric that a laser of this power output is still quite dangerous.

Please advise. And thanks.


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Old 04-16-2012, 07:10 AM #2
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Default Re: Green Laser shined in my eye

Since I am the first to read this I'll post this quickly and add more in a bit... You need to go to the eye doctor immediately if you can. They can give you something to reduce the chances of having lasting damage if treated right away. How do you know it was 165mW?

Anything over 5mW is the general rule for causing permanent damage if flashed directly in the eye or hit with a reflection as you cannot blink or turn away fast enough for there not to be permanent damage. Even with 5mW pointers there is still risk so you should never shine them towards anyone or let them shine them at you.

In addition it is not wise to ever shine anything over 5mW around without goggles because reflections off of shiny objects can hit you right in the eye with enough power to do as much damage as if the laser was pointed right in your eye. This could be off of anything from keys, metallic candy wrappers, glass, etc. You cannot always predict what it may hit that is why you never ever use a laser over 5mW without goggles indoors The only time to not wear goggles is outdoors if you point it at a very far off object away from aircraft when you can be absolutely positive there will be no reflection. The tops of trees in the distance would be an example.

Right now though you really should see an eye doctor ASAP though rather than worry about other things at the moment.

Last edited by ElectroMagneticFreak; 04-17-2012 at 06:14 AM.
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Old 04-16-2012, 07:25 AM #3
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Default Re: Green Laser shined in my eye

In addition, I forgot to mention that blurry vision can be a sign of potential damage done to your eye, so you really should not blow it off, it is really important to go the eye doctor. (Ophthalmologist)

In response to your other question about distance here is the answer to a similar question I had which was answered by a respected member of the forum (Sigurthr)

"There is no documentation saying the following is correct, but it is a rough guide that I use:
-If the surface is more than 10ft away and nonreflective and of a color that absorbs more than 85% of the wavelength then it is safe to look at the dot for short periods of time if it is under 100mW when not wearing goggles. Inverse square law applies - double the distance and you can 4x the power level and be safe; 20ft out on same surface as above a 400mW is safe to look at for a short period. The target is the main attenuation factor here, if it reflects the wavelength too much it becomes dangerous.
-If the surface is white or does not absorb most of the light at that wavelength then 50mW should not be exceeded (at a distance of 10ft).
-At under 50mW it would take a specular reflection, direct hit, or viewing a dot from an absurdly close distance (<3ft) to cause damage."

Here is the link to the quote I cited above.

Review: SKYlasers (laserbtb.com) H532L-100B 100mW 16340 532nm Laser


********It is important to remember that a white wall is much more reflective than a darker matte background, so when considering distance keep this in mind.

"If the surface is white or does not absorb most of the light at that wavelength then 50mW should not be exceeded (at a distance of 10ft)."

Also don't forget that green lasers use an IR pump which means part of the output of light is composed of invisible Infrared light as well which can also be dangerous. This means there is a slightly wider beam of IR surrounding the green beam that you cannot see if there is no IR filter (which many green lasers do not have) This is why you need goggles that block IR and 532nm green light if you are pointing the laser up close and looking at the dot from a few feet away if you are doing something like popping balloons or lighting matches..

I wanted to try and help answer your second question, but it is very important right now to get your eyes checked as soon as you can!

Last edited by ElectroMagneticFreak; 04-16-2012 at 08:07 AM.
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Old 04-16-2012, 08:29 PM #4
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Default Re: Green Laser shined in my eye

Thank you for the replies.

As to how do I know it was 165mW, because that's what the owner of the laser told me it was. Yes, he was being irresponsible and stupid with it, but he collects all kinds of very expensive "toys" and I have no reason to doubt him.

Also with regard to shining it on tents, would a laser of this power still shine through the thin polyester or nylon fabric with enough remaining energy to damage the eyes of the occupants?

I also posted on this forum wondering if there is any empirical and anecdotal information from anyone else unfortunate enough to have shared this experience. So, has anyone else here had a laser shined in your eyes? And what happened to you?
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Old 04-16-2012, 09:18 PM #5
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Default Re: Green Laser shined in my eye

So you're going to completely ignore the fact that he told you to go to the eye doctor?
Hit in eye with 1000mw 445nm blue laser
If this doesn't convince you, then you obviously don't place much importance on your vision.
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Old 04-16-2012, 10:18 PM #6
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Default Re: Green Laser shined in my eye

A single layer tent will absorb a small percentage of the energy (how much depends on colour and thickness), and scatter the rest into a wider beam. I would not want to use tent fabric as laser goggles, even at 5mW.
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Old 04-17-2012, 12:03 AM #7
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Default Re: Green Laser shined in my eye

Whoever this guy is shining a 165mw laser at people and tents is Extremely irrisponsible and he should not own a laser

You should see an eye doctor immediately. Your vision is not worth "waiting to see if it fixes itself" for. You should go to the doctor and prevent any further damage
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Last edited by AnthoT; 04-17-2012 at 12:03 AM.
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