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Old 11-27-2008, 03:44 AM #1
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Default I had an eye appointment today....

I went to the eye doctor for my yearly checkup today, and I had him take a close look inside my eye at the retina and all those fragile bits.

He said my eyes and retinas are 100% healthy. He said he couldn't even find a spot that would make him a tiny bit concerned.

This just goes to show, GET the proper protection and you can operate class IIIb and IV lasers SAFELY and without the tiniest bit of eye damage.


This is just a PSA to say: GET YOUR GOGGLES BEFORE YOU BUY ANOTHER LASER! *8-) 8-) 8-)


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Old 11-27-2008, 08:15 AM #2
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Default Re: I had an eye appointment today....

Glad to hear that I can use my lasers in complete safety (as long as I use eye protection). 8-)

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Old 11-27-2008, 04:00 PM #3
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Default Re: I had an eye appointment today....

Is there anything to suggest that the average laser user that does not use goggles actually has some form of visible damage to the retina? Or how does this otherwise demonstrate how goggles contributed to the health of your eyes?

No control.. no science!
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Old 11-28-2008, 04:38 AM #4
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Default Re: I had an eye appointment today....

To tell you the truth, I didn't have any goggles for the first half of my 'infatuation with lasers'. But, I also didn't use any lasers much over 400mW at that point either. Did I get any damage during that period? No... would I have damage now if I didn't have goggles? Probably not, but it's not a possibility I even have to consider since I was using the goggles
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Old 11-28-2008, 01:22 PM #5
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Default Re: I had an eye appointment today....

Well, i guess you can take risks when wearing goggles that you would not take without - perhaps aiming a powerful laser at a mirror or some stunt like that. In that respect, inadequate protection puts you at more risk than no protection at all.

Still, i dont think the average laser user that doesnt wear goggles has retinas dotted with smoldering black pits

Common sense and a bit of science can often make a whole lot of difference... for example explaining why the reflection from a 50 mW laser from a pane of window glass is perfectly safe as long as the angle is near normal.
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Old 12-02-2008, 12:10 PM #6
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Default Re: I had an eye appointment today....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Benm
Well, i guess you can take risks when wearing goggles
I wouldn't take risks when wearing goggles, they should be used only to prevent damage from accidental intrabeam or reflections (or diffuse for class IV) viewing in my humble opinion.
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Old 12-09-2008, 03:09 AM #7
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Default Re: I had an eye appointment today....

Quote:
Originally Posted by GooeyGus
To tell you the truth, I didn't have any goggles for the first half of my 'infatuation with lasers'. But, I also didn't use any lasers much over 400mW at that point either. Did I get any damage during that period? No... would I have damage now if I didn't have goggles? Probably not, but it's not a possibility I even have to consider since I was using the goggles *
Right, only 400mW. ;D I think that's a lot. But you acually looked at the dot up close without goggles?
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Old 12-11-2008, 10:49 AM #8
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Default Re: I had an eye appointment today....

Quote:
Originally Posted by marcuss
[quote author=Benm link=1227761054/0#4 date=1227882131]Well, i guess you can take risks when wearing goggles
I wouldn't take risks when wearing goggles, they should be used only to prevent damage from accidental intrabeam or reflections (or diffuse for class IV) viewing in my humble opinion.[/quote]
oh god. *smacks my forehead until it bleeds*. playing with laser pointers is already a risk itself. GET IT? :
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Old 12-21-2008, 12:32 PM #9
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Default Re: I had an eye appointment today....

An anecdotal warning when it comes to goggles...

My previous pair of BR goggles were adequate for the power I used them for, but I still managed to get a reflection in through an angle that wasn't covered because of some alignment work in connection with an experiment. It wasn't carelessness, just plain bad luck.

Needless to say, I had a full panel of eye exams afterwards. It turns out my corneal distortion had been improved by .25 by the brief exposure. If the beam had hit a few millimeters to the other side, the distortion would have been worsened by about the same amount.

I won the Lady Luck Lottery™ that day.

I suggest others don't expect the same.

Goggles are not a silver bullet, they should be seen as yet another risk management tool. Wearing the proper goggles can significantly reduce the risk of damage due to accidental exposure, but there is always a chance that a stray reflection will end up hitting your eyes anyway. A false sense of security isn't doing anyone any favors.

Carelessness will increase the risk far more than the goggles will reduce it.

Also, reflective goggles will reflect on both sides. If the beam enters from the side of the goggles and hits the glass, then it will be reflected, most likely straight into your eyes. Accordingly, any protective goggles should prevent beam entry on all sides if based on reflection.

Proper protective goggles, as FrothyChimp has pointed out repeatedly, are based on absorbing the beam, not reflecting it. That was my main disappointment with the 405nm goggle group buy, since I expected to get absorbent goggles, not reflective ones. Still, they work well for the use I bought them for, and at least have some side protection.

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Old 12-21-2008, 04:58 PM #10
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Default Re: I had an eye appointment today....

Quote:
Originally Posted by suiraM
It turns out my corneal distortion had been improved by .25 by the brief exposure. If the beam had hit a few millimeters to the other side, the distortion would have been worsened by about the same amount.
Just wondering how much power you must have been using then... actually deforming your cornea by a glare sounds very far fetched to me. Also, it proofs that the lasik-home-kit idea has merit
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Old 12-25-2008, 08:46 PM #11
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Default Re: I had an eye appointment today....

Err... no... no lasik home kits, please.

As for power, I have no idea. I'm just reporting the findings. My glasses were perfect before the accident. My vision was slightly off afterwards, and stayed slightly off. The eye doc confirmed that there had been a change in the cornea, and the absence of any other anomalies, and that correcting the glasses to match the cornea change made my vision perfect again.

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Old 01-02-2009, 02:45 AM #12
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Default Re: I had an eye appointment today....

Scary. I'm glad it looks like there was no serious damage!
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Old 01-08-2009, 08:43 PM #13
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Default Re: I had an eye appointment today....

I had an appointment on last Saturday with my doctor to. The reason was that I noticed a shadow-like shape in my left eye so I was worried enough to pay him a visit. Fortunately, my retina and the whole eye has not been damaged yet so I was all happy after the examination... He also said that I can see 100% with both eyes and he also insisted on the fact that that shape won't have appeared because of a laser.That shadow shape is gone now and I am happy I haven't been damaged. Anyway, I already ordered a pair of multiwavelength goggles from Things so I will once again be able to play with my lasers. But this time, safely 8-)

Remember, safety is everything while playing with those beasts
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Old 01-08-2009, 11:14 PM #14
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Default Re: I had an eye appointment today....

Quote:
Originally Posted by suiraM
As for power, I have no idea. I'm just reporting the findings. My glasses were perfect before the accident. My vision was slightly off afterwards, and stayed slightly off. The eye doc confirmed that there had been a change in the cornea, and the absence of any other anomalies, and that correcting the glasses to match the cornea change made my vision perfect again.
I still doubt your laser exposure had anything to do with this. A 0.25 dioptre mismatch wouldn't normally be very noticable (especially to only one of the eyes), though an eye measurement can determine required adjustment to this accuracy.

Quote:
Proper protective goggles, as FrothyChimp has pointed out repeatedly, are based on absorbing the beam, not reflecting it.
There are things to say for both approaches: Reflectives are more dangerous for the reasons stated, but absorptive glasses have one problem reflectives dont have: At higher power levels, a laser can burn through absorptive glasses, or bleach out the protective pigment resulting in non-functional glasses.

I doubt this is a concern with <1 watt lasers and accidental brief exposures, but when fired at with a very powerful laser reflective protection is preferable.
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Old 01-09-2009, 05:22 AM #15
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Default Re: I had an eye appointment today....

What wattage (I guess in this case, milli-wattage) do you worry about when it comes to "to goggle or not to goggle?"

It seems clear from the studies done that the <5mw reds don't do any damage even when deliberate exposure to the retina is made.... Everyone reading this knows our eyes are most sensitive to green light, though, so a 532nm @ 5mw would be a little more dicey... Right?
What's the current legal limit? 10mw?
What about blu-ray? Since the cornea absorbs most of the light at that part of the spectrum, it seems less likely to cause retinal problems. Cataracts become more likely? Would that not take a lot longer to develop? I'm sure each person is going to be different to some degree, but it seems like it would take a LOT of long-term direct/semi-direct reflection exposure to do harm at 10mw...?

I have a history of cataracts in my family, so of course I'm careful with my BR pointers, but I'd like to see opinions from those that have more experience... Not that there's a lot of blu-ray "history" in that they're still relatively new on the scene... But heck, even my photon microlight "violet" has a warning label on it...
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Old 01-09-2009, 10:26 AM #16
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Default Re: I had an eye appointment today....

Quote:
Originally Posted by marks47
It seems clear from the studies done that the <5mw reds don't do any damage even when deliberate exposure to the retina is made.... Everyone reading this knows our eyes are most sensitive to green light, though, so a 532nm @ 5mw would be a little more dicey... Right?
...
The damage to the retina is mostly thermal, so it shouldnt matter much what color the light is, as long as it reaches the retina and is focussed there.

Green light might even be safer because it appears brighter and is therefor more likely to trigger the blink reflex - being so bright it 'hurts' your eyes is something very different from being so powerful it burns your retinas.

Quote:
Originally Posted by marks47
What about blu-ray? Since the cornea absorbs most of the light at that part of the spectrum, it seems less likely to cause retinal problems. Cataracts become more likely?
... But heck, even my photon microlight "violet" has a warning label on it...
Cataracts can develop due to prolonged exposure to UV light, but blu-ray is already on the border between UV and visible, and normally not -that- intense when just looking the dot. Warning labels are probably a bit over the top. More likely ways of exposure are sunlight and tanning beds, where uv-blocking (sun)glasses are a very good idea.
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