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Old 01-04-2009, 07:05 AM #1
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Default need helpful advice on laser pointer safety

I'm new to this forum and there's a likelihood of someone posting about this before, but I couldn't find it from the stickies. *Anyways, I don't know much about the practical issues and conditions of laser pointers/laser pens that are sold in the market, intended for presentations, but are used by many in the youth as toys to beam at each other in the eye (and I'm not talking about a quick hand wave, but an actual steady position). *That's where I need some advice from all of you who can provide input to separate truth from paranoia. *I don't have access to go to an optometrist or ophthalmologist right now and the last time I went to an optometrist over a similar case happening to myself, the guy didn't seem to treat me seriously and assumed everything was fine. *My eyes got diluted and he found nothing. *Although he found nothing, I haven't been convinced that my eyes were perfectly healthy and fine as if the direct laser pointer to the eye incident never occurred.

This pertains to the usage of laser pointers/laser pens. *I'm trying to find out the truth about them from a posed danger or hazard standpoint of permanent damage and practical facts about them since I've been a victim of misuse by kids in my area shining them at my eye for a long duration of time (~20-30 seconds). *I know that this couldn't have been one of those really weak 1mW class 2 pointers because I actually felt a bit of the heat from this one when it hit my eye. *I couldn't help to notice it later and think about it later because I was distracted by doing something else and focusing on something else before I reacted to this happening. *It's one of those usual pranks that you get from kids, doing dirty things when they see you caught off guard. *Unfortunately, I have a slow reaction to such things and it's been costly. *I've spent a lot of money from going to doctor visits out of paranoia in previous incidents. *Since then, about a week later, I've been noticing little sharp pains here and there in my eye as well as feeling warm spots around my eye even though I look in the mirror and don't see anything obvious of a scar besides my eye getting the usual redness from agitation or allergies (could be temporary partial loss of view from being beamed by that).

I can't find any practical source of information online and was wondering if there's any specialists in these forums from the safety and health area that can respond to my questions so that I can find out if it's worthwhile to get medical attention or if these are common temporary side effects that happen to those who get exposed directly to these devices. *The key that I'm trying to determine is separating temporary from permanent side effects or damages. *Now I've read online about the side effects described as having a temporary glare, flash, or not seeing things thereafter. *Although I was exposed to those for a long duration, I don't recall getting that and although I'm not blind in one eye or anything right now, that doesn't mean that I shouldn't care or take any precautions in the near future about treating and handling myself right?

q1) *Without actually grabbing hold of the culprit and obtain the laser pen, how would one know when they're shined by a laser pen at a distance what type it is, whether it's a class2/3/4 (a or b type) and so forth?

q2) *I've read that you can only get permanent damage from laser pointers 3a and up if you actually look at the source of the pen for a long time. *What if you didn't look at it, but it was shined along parts of your eye for a long duration before noticing it, reacting to it, and turning away? * For instance, if I look and concentrate on something down right now, my peripheral vision can still catch what's leveled around me as if I stood up straight and looked straight ( maybe because I have big eyes? ) . *In that sense, if someone was pointing a laser at me endlessly even though I wasn't looking at it directly per-say, wouldn't that still cause exposure of that laser to the retina?

q3) *If I go get medical attention, should I go to an optometrist concerning this or an ophthalmologist? *People told me that if I want to get my eyes really checked out that I should go to an ophthalmologist because optometrists only specialize in eye glasses and not the actual eye itself in terms of the way it functions and all. *Is this true?

q4) I kept reading articles here and there about how your blinking reflex blocks this away, but 0.25 seconds seems way to quick and what if you don't have that sharp of an instinct during the times the incident happened? *Am I screwed in comparison to these statistics?

q5) *Articles also talk about how there's only a small chance of getting permanent damage. *Can someone simulate an event in which would likely spark this small chance (that's described in literally every article I've found online) so that I can get an idea of whether or not I'm being paranoid about all of this or if it's really something to be concerned about?

q6) *How long would it take for symptoms to occur where a doctor would be able to examine it? *I recall reading an article where they mentioned that burns to the eye might not be visible until years later, which seems ridiculous to me. *I would think that any symptoms would occur and be visible for diagnosis and treatment right away from the time the incident occurred until up to a couple of weeks thereafter. *My worry is that if I don't take actions promptly and let things go for now until some time months and months later waiting on my regular once a year checkup, then symptoms that I found common and daily wouldn't be as immediate by then and the doctor examining for those conditions wouldn't take me seriously (since they wouldn't visibly notice it anymore). *Are burns and other side effects of these things last indefinitely?

q7) What types of tests or diagnosis can be performed to examine the eye for any types of conditions related to laser pointers? *I know that long while back when a similar incident happened, my eyes were diluted to look deeply into the retina, but is there anything else? *Could you get anything or damages to your eye if you had a burn or long exposure from the white of your eye rather than the common discussions about the retina itself?

Sorry if it was long , but I'm new here and I'm new to the topic, so I have a lot of curiosity. *Thanks to anyone who is willing to provide feedback.



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Old 01-04-2009, 07:16 AM #2
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Default Re: need helpful advice on laser pointer safety

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikenmike0001
q1) *Without actually grabbing hold of the culprit and obtain the laser pen, how would one know when they're shined by a laser pen at a distance what type it is, whether it's a class2/3/4 (a or b type) and so forth?

q2) *I've read that you can only get permanent damage from laser pointers 3a and up if you actually look at the source of the pen for a long time. *What if you didn't look at it, but it was shined along parts of your eye for a long duration before noticing it, reacting to it, and turning away? * For instance, if I look and concentrate on something down right now, my peripheral vision can still catch what's leveled around me as if I stood up straight and looked straight ( maybe because I have big eyes? ) . *In that sense, if someone was pointing a laser at me endlessly even though I wasn't looking at it directly per-say, wouldn't that still cause exposure of that laser to the retina?

q3) *If I go get medical attention, should I go to an optometrist concerning this or an ophthalmologist? *People told me that if I want to get my eyes really checked out that I should go to an ophthalmologist because optometrists only specialize in eye glasses and not the actual eye itself in terms of the way it functions and all. *Is this true?

q4) I kept reading articles here and there about how your blinking reflex blocks this away, but 0.25 seconds seems way to quick and what if you don't have that sharp of an instinct during the times the incident happened? *Am I screwed in comparison to these statistics?

q5) *Articles also talk about how there's only a small chance of getting permanent damage. *Can someone simulate an event in which would likely spark this small chance (that's described in literally every article I've found online) so that I can get an idea of whether or not I'm being paranoid about all of this or if it's really something to be concerned about?

q6) *How long would it take for symptoms to occur where a doctor would be able to examine it? *I recall reading an article where they mentioned that burns to the eye might not be visible until years later, which seems ridiculous to me. *I would think that any symptoms would occur and be visible for diagnosis and treatment right away from the time the incident occurred until up to a couple of weeks thereafter. *My worry is that if I don't take actions promptly and let things go for now until some time months and months later waiting on my regular once a year checkup, then symptoms that I found common and daily wouldn't be as immediate by then and the doctor examining for those conditions wouldn't take me seriously (since they wouldn't visibly notice it anymore). *Are burns and other side effects of these things last indefinitely?
First of all, trust your eye doctor. *He/she gets no benefit from lying to you.

q1) You cannot know this without grabbing the culprit and examining the laser (with an LPM)

q2) If you cannot "see" the light, it is not hitting your retina

q3) *An opthamologist is better, but your optometrist should be able to visualize your retina

q4) *You cannot know how quick your blink reflex is. *If you are so high/drunk that you are not blinking in response to bright lights, you should not be around anyone with a laser

q5) *You are being paranoid. *Just use common sense and err on the side of safety. *If you are handling or around high powered lasers (>30mW) wear goggles or control the direction of the beam.

q6) *Burns are evident virtually immediately to an eye doctor. *You may have to accumulate a significant number of small burns before YOU might notice the vision loss, but your eye doctor can see the burns.

Peace,
dave
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Old 01-04-2009, 06:25 PM #3
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Default Re: need helpful advice on laser pointer safety

thanks dave for the reply: per your responses, some follow up inquiries

q1) what's the threshold range (in mW) in which a laser emittance to the eye for a long duration can cause permanent conditions that would weaken or scar the eye? *Can today's strongest off the counter laser pointers that run from 5mW to 10mW be severe or are those really just something that cause annoyance rather than physical damage to the eye?

q2) in this case, I can see the light from the corner of my eye since my peripheral vision is wide, so even though I wasn't looking directly at the laser beam source, I could tell it was hitting me and agitated me to the point where that movement of the laser around my eye caused my eye to naturally want to close completely. *

q3) Thanks, I'll be sure to go to an ophthalmologist when I get insurance since they're too expensive to go to out of pocket. *My question to this is: *Besides diluting your eyes to open up your retina and see into it for damages, are there any other "exam types" that can be done to check the conditions of the eye? *I'm assuming that there's more parts to the eye that can be a concern than centering around the topic of the retina. *Anything else I can ask and have the doc check for the next time I go for a visit?

q4) I understand. *I just don't feel like I actually blink every quarter of a second because I've been prone to having lazy eyes and that causes me to feel at times that I have to remind myself to blink rather than it being second nature

q5) This are random acts of misdemeanor, I know to not be near or around these things, but at times, it's unavoidable or unpredictable.

q6) how long do burns last to the point where they may be physically difficult to notice? *I'm worried that my conditions may be viewed differently if I were to for example, go get this checked months from now from when the incident happened in comparison to getting it checked say...tomorrow.

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Old 01-05-2009, 12:14 AM #4
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Default Re: need helpful advice on laser pointer safety

Q1: Basically < 1 or 2 mW is not damaging unless you stare continually into it for 10s of seconds, < 5-10mW is not damaging in reality unless you look into it for a second or more, and so caution should be exercised, > 10mW is likely to be damaging at shorter times than the eye can blink (1/4 second as you said) *and so should be treated with extreme caution, goggles worn etc. Safety standards say 1 or 5mW as the highest limit for user exposure, but in reality there is some room for error. Some cheap pointers, especially green ones, will disregard the safety standards, and so are illegal, and could cause harm.

Q2: Trust your doctors! It is possible that the beam hit the side of your face but you were aware of the light reflected off your skin, this is unlikely to cause damage. If you look directly into it it would appear like a very bright point of dazzling light, like the sun in your vision, and you'd naturally shut your eyes.

Q3: (For your information the word is dilate not dilute) I'm not sure - there are not really any self-doable tests, since your brain "edits" out damage to your eye unless it is so severe it cannot fill in the gaps. Laser eye surgery reshapes the cornea but it's unlikely a cheap pointer will do this.

Q4: You're misunderstanding: You don't blink every 1/4 of a second, it is just that, should you be exposed to a direct laser beam, your natural reaction would be to close your eye as quickly as possible. It happens that this reaction takes on average 1/4 of a second. It's possible that your own reactions are slower than this, but safety standards will often leave room for anomalies such as blink times etc. *

Q5: Don't worry, most people stupid enough to shine lasers in eyes on purpose will be unlikely to buy ones powerful enough to do permanent damage. The exceptions are green lasers, and people intent on causing harm with no regard for the law and safety. Thankfully these people are rare in modern society!

Q6: Major burns will most likely be permanent, but sub - 5mW "dazzle" spots will hopefully disappear within hours, or possibly days. In the case of large, permanent burns I'm guessing that they will be visible both to you and to a proper optician at any time but feel free to correct me on this, anyone who is doing more than blind (geddit?) guessing.
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Old 01-05-2009, 07:56 AM #5
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Default Re: need helpful advice on laser pointer safety

thanks charlie bruce for the feedback

q1) I'm assuming that this was one of those 5 mW ones because I've been shined by one of those cheap pocket sized ones of of 1 or 2 mW before and this one felt much different where I could feel a warm sensation when it hit my eye as well as a stronger brightness and glare coming from the corner of my eye. *I can't verify this since I didn't catch the culprit to obtain the actual device, but I'm assuming this was one of those class 3a/b type of pointers, and definitely not no class 2 type.

q2) Yeah, that could be. *I tried to avoid looking directly at the source of the light, but even looking away, my peripheral vision was wide enough to catch the glare coming from it as it felt like it swooping back and forth across my eye. *Even though I might not "directly" look at the laser pointer itself, would having the sight of it within your peripheral view when it hit your eye, even without actually looking right spot on it be just as damaging or risky?

q3) I apologize, dilate. *I didn't mean self tests, I'm not a specilalist and wouldn't have the tools do do it anyways. *I was just asking because the last time a similar incident happened and I went to an optometrist to talk about it, he told me that this is the services that they provide to check the retina for damage, which is their main concern. *I'm just wondering if there's any other types of tests that can be asked for that I might not know to ask about to make a more complete check of the eye conditioning. *That's why I wonder if an ophthalmologist might know or have services to diagnose that an optometrist wouldn't know or conduct. *Any opinions? *I've never met an ophthalmologist because I could never pay out of pocket to afford seeing them, but I was informed that I should go see one for these matters because apparently optometrists only specialize in glasses and not the actual physical matters of the eye themselves.

q4) thanks for the correction. *I've been reading it wrong. *a quarter second reaction blink makes more sense. *

q5) unfortunately, if they're rare as you say it, than I'm an unfortunate victim of a rare act. *There's a lot of idiots that do bad things in my neighborhood such as disregarding those caution and safety notes of those laser pens and even take advices from doctors in which they know and are educated about laser pointers to use them with bad intentions. *

q6) well, I need some peace of mind, so I'm going to go see a doctor to get my eyes dilated and hopefully everything is okay. *I'd be mad that I keep having to spend the money to get a diagnosis and conclusion of nothing found, but at least that will erase any paranoia that I've been experiencing thinking that there is something to worry about that should not be ignored. *That incident has frustrated my entire weekend thinking about it.
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Old 01-06-2009, 03:25 AM #6
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Default Re: need helpful advice on laser pointer safety

If you're still concerned about it, go see the doctor. Better to relieve yourself of the stress of not knowing, and perhaps nipping something in the bud, than wait and eventually having to do it anyway. Some green pointers are overpowered as well, especially the cheapo ones from China.
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Old 01-06-2009, 09:09 AM #7
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Default Re: need helpful advice on laser pointer safety

Well, I took your advices and went to see an optometrist today to get my eyes dilated and checked out. *Frustrating thing is that the doctor did his check using the slit machine and some other tools, and found no burns to the retina. I say frustrating (and I know people are thinking, why would you want something bad to happen?) because if there's no evidence from those tests that show signs of even a small fraction of injury, then the only other conclusion is that it's all psychological and it's all in my mind that is making me think something is wrong right? *

q1) If the doc checked me and found nothing wrong, what are the odds that I go to another doctor, have them check on me using this or other tools, and to spot something that the previous doctor didn't find? *

q2) Since I didn't catch the culprit and grab the laser pointer device to get it checked out by the doctor, the doctor kept implying that those lasers are just toys and for the last couple of visits with him concerning other similar incidents of laser pointer exposure I had, he thinks that I'm just being beamed by one of those cheap 5 dollar laser pointers that you can get off the counter of a Walgreens store or something since I said that a kid did it and he thinks no way would a small kid be able to afford and acquire a more expensive one. *A kid, I meant, was some high schoolers that I've found beaming people with those with bad intentions, not no 7 or 8 year old kid, and the laser pointers used for presentations tools cost only 10-30 dollars more on the average, but I was unable to explain my case since he rushed me out the door to treat another patient. *Although he said that whether or not it's a 5mW laser pointer or whatever else and not the machine type used in a factory, that it's a billion to one chance of having it first hit your eye, and then burn your eye and only in &quot;theory&quot; that they can cause damage, I start to wonder if that's the case, why does the FDA have a regulation on selling ones that are exactly greater than 5mW to be sold in the US? *If they're just merely a toy, why would something that sounds like a small unit of single digit milliwatts past 5mW be such a concern that they would set that as a regulation? *I even notice that the ones that are regulated and are supposedly safe (less than 5mW according to these standards) that they're even listed by the police department in my city as an assault and battery crime that's punishable by up to 30 days jail time for capturing someone who intentionally beams someone with one of those laser pointers in the eye. *If they're so harmless, why would authority figures establish these types of things into the judicial system? *They have to be more than just harmless toys right?

q3) The doctor also mentioned that with lasers, since all they do is emit energy, that if there was a problem like a burn, you'd notice it right away and it's like a shooting a gun through a wall, it's either it can do it or it cannot, and nothing inbetween (only one extreme or the other). *Isn't it possible that a laser pointer that may not be strong enough to cause an instant burn can still create or cause abnormalities to your vision not noticed by checking just or burnt spots in the retina? *

q4) Can't devices that are class 3 lasers that generate 5mW generate be strong enough to generate heat where you could feel it if say, you were testing it by pointing it on your palm to feel any warmness? *It might not be strong enough to create fire or burn paper, but that type of heat is enough to affect your eye doesn't it? *I know what I felt and I had to explain to the doctor since he kept thinking that this incident was from someone shining at me from a 100 feet away that it was more like 15-20 feet away. *He was mentioning that laser pointers that emit that energy after over a far distance start to weaken but I'm not talking about being shined from someone at a two story rooftop or from a hill. *I'm talking about someone stationed at a church facility in a confined space doing that. *

q5) The &quot;theory&quot; that the doctor and other articles that I've read claim that there's only damage if you actually look at the beam. *Since those things are so bright, I know that I didn't stare into it, but as much as I was trying to dodge it with my eyes looking somewhere else, my peripheral vision caught it since the kid was moving it around trying to hit my eye intentionally to the point where when it actually hit on a couple of times during the shining (as compared to hitting the side of my eye), it cause such agitation that I squinted and almost felt like rubbing my eye, which I know you're not supposed to do. *In this scenario, although I'm not staring directly at it, isn't still hazardous or dangerous to the eye that the laser beam is partly hitting into your eye even though you're focusing on trying to not look right at it due to it's brightness?

When I told him about how when the laser pointer initially hit my eye and I felt some warm sensation from it, he said that since there's no burnt spots noticed, that something like that from these devices is ridiculous to hear and most likely that the feeling was caused by being scared and being a mental thing. *

Since I don't have insurance and had to pay out of pocket, I couldn't get my complete eye exam done up to the point where I can get my prescription lens checked to see if there's been any changes since the last time I had it checked, about six months ago, prior to these events happening. *I have a feeling that when I go get my complete eye exam done for detecting prescription changes to my glasses, that my strength is going to be higher, and it would be more than coincidental. *The doctor may claim that it's because it's been over a year since my last checkup, but during my dilation, I was just asking him about my records today of my previous complete eye checkup exams, and he mentioned that my previous prescriptions for at least the past couple of years have not changed at all, so it would make me suspicious that the year that I spot incidents of getting exposed to these things that all of a sudden, something sparks up. *

Even though that test found nothing wrong according to his diagnosis, I still notice *symptoms of partial vision loss since there's things around my house and out in the neighborhood (like printed text on the wall, at my desk, when I'm watching TV at the dinner table, and street signs/labels) that I used to be able to see from a fixed distance beforehand, and now even with staring at it initially to make sure it's not because my eyes have a slow focus, I have a hard time reading them now, like the contrast or sharpness in my eyes are a bit off. *My eyes get fatigued more frequently than before where I have to take more rest breaks and feel like I've been sleeping in a lot more throughout the day than I did before. *People might think how I would be able to realistically notice all of this before and after, well, let's just say that I'm very observant.

Of course if I continue to check in with the doctor for a third visit sometime later or mention about this issue again, since his records show that there's no problem, he might get annoyed and not bother to want to talk about it anymore since in his mind, he thinks of those cheap little pocket sized laser pointers and nothing else, than what argument do I have other than people thinking that I'm hysterical?

I start wondering why every person and every article that I've found and read about these things that there's never a 100% confidence level from anyone that these things are absolutely harmless even if someone pointed it right at your eye for a long amount of time. *Some people might say, well, that's because our instincts are built so that we just don't let these things happen and we move around when we react to these things. *I guess I have a slow reaction, but I mean, in these instances, how can you blame me. *In this case of all things, when I'm praying in line back from church that some idiot in the back horseplays around like that. *Am I all of a sudden supposed to think of all things in a day and at that point in time that hey, there's someone who might shine a laser pointer at you today, so be prepared, be on guard, and be alert to dodge it. You can't do that without living a completely paranoid life. *Some people would say that I should've known better and reacted to it rather than just let it happen, but I would say that there shouldn't be idiots, jackasses, and assholes doing that in the first place. *People going to blame the victim and favor the culprit. *That's illogical. *There's no excuse for it than utter stupidity and being forced to live within a low end society where people who get away with this are cheered and nurtured like martyrs.

In fact, I asked a few people I know from class about this and they admit that they've been shined before like me, but they don't know themselves if there's anything wrong and just move on from it as if nothing happened. *Seems like they seem too masculine and embarrassed to inquire about it.* They just don't go around asking about it, but for me, I have a curious mind, and as stupid as it sounds when I ask questions that seem ridiculous or senseless to people about these things, I like to know and be educated, so I hope people who were able to read through this can educate me. *
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Old 01-06-2009, 12:39 PM #8
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Default Re: need helpful advice on laser pointer safety

You might be suffering from hypochondriasis. *The slit test allows the doctor to see the insides of your eyes with an extremely powerful series of lenses. *Any damage that would have resulted from a dangerous laser would be noticeable by the trained optometrist. *A second or third opinion will no doubt reveal the same thing (or lack thereof).

I also expect you imagined the heat in your eye. *From what I've read, the eyeball can't even feel warmth, let alone from the intermittent beam of a laser pointer. *This is evident from the fact that some infrared lasers can cause heating damage, even localized boiling, to the eye without any felt-indication that there is damage occuring. The retina also has no pain receptors.*I also find it suspect that you haven't mentioned feeling heat anywhere else on your body, which you would have if there was any real heat generation.

For burning, Class IIIa laser devices (&lt; 5mW), or lower (Class I, Class II)--which are what laser &quot;pointers&quot; are--do not generate enough heat to be felt. *I doubt even using a magnifying glass would cause your body to feel any heat from a Class IIIa laser. *Class IIIb laser devices (5mW to about 500mW) can generate detectable heat. *However, if you were blasted by a Class IIIb laser, it would have been extremely bright and there would have been damage that your optometrist would have noticed. *Even in cases where there was eye damage due to a Class IIIa laser pointer (staring into it continuously, at close range over 10 seconds), the eye damage went away relatively quickly.

As for laws against shining laser pointers at peoples' eyes, the danger with lasers is not in their potential to cause eye damage, but rather to be distracting enough to cause an accident. *Likewise, you can probably find laws, like that, prohibiting citizens from throwing &quot;harmless&quot; snowballs at bikers while in the middle of the road. *With police officers, the laser beam could be construed to be an aiming device on a gun as well. *However, by and large, lasers with Class IIIa or lower ratings are safe enough for normal citizens to use, barring extraordinary events. *That is why the lasers are within that classification.

The blurred vision and &quot;sharp pains&quot; and such you are supposedly feeling are probably because you've been losing sleep over this incident, and may be dehydrated. I'd get some rest, and feel content that--even in the remote case where you did suffer some eye damage--the damage will be short lived.
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Old 01-06-2009, 04:46 PM #9
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Default Re: need helpful advice on laser pointer safety

Thanks Bionic Badger. *I PM'd you asking another question since you've been helpful with feedback.
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Old 04-13-2009, 04:31 PM #10
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Default Re: need helpful advice on laser pointer safety

Didn't include this in the last bit that I discussed this. *My prescription has changed. *Although I wasn't able to do a full eye exam, my optometrist did a partial check that day and told me that it has changed, although he favors that it's because I hadn't had a check since a year ago and that it could be because of aging. *yeah, here it goes again, the guy that believes that the laser pointer was some cheap harmless toy, didn't find anything from the dilation check, but notes this increase in prescription, one of which I haven't had a change in my prescription in over 3 years. *Coincidence? *I don't think so.

Some people in the area that I heard last time from that post event made me get more information that the device that was used was either a 5-8mw range or a 10-20mw red laser because a similar incident happened some time later with some of them. *Apparently there's a pond shop that's nearby in which makes these things accessible and affordable to get for under 50 bucks.

Why didn't I mention this last time? *Been so busy with other things and trying to not think about this as people kept indicating here that it's all psychological. *It wasn't until the last couple of weeks t hat I've just been noticing things that I used to focus on at a certain fixed range is coming off a bit blurry, contrast issues with lighting, seeing transparent &quot;things&quot; when I look at something as simple as a pale white wall. *It's strange that I'm experiencing sudden &quot;delayed&quot; changes to my vision that I didn't I regret taking it more seriously and failing to act quickly to this heinous act committed by some random kid. *I hate it. *I should've grabbed the kid back and gotten him charged and disciplined, but thought about not causing a scene or a disturbance to the mass setting. *But then again, idiots shouldn't be going around doing that in the first place. *Logic would say that the blame goes to the perpetrator first over the victim. *Now, simple everyday things of just getting around in life are bothering me now. *

All the optometrist can advise is wear glasses, that's just to accommodate, that doesn't heal or help improve anything but a temporary relief. *I still don't have money to go see an ophthalmologist yet. *I hope to get one soon when I'm able to find a job. *But then, likely, I might get the same opinion from the ophthalmologist as the optometrist, since I don't have the device on me for them to see, and if the results from their exam doesn't show any evidence, then well, there's not much that I can say to convince them that I find things that are bothering me and wrong with my vision and the way I see things.

They say that the chances aren't likely for these things to happen, and I was keeping that in mind for some time, but maybe since this happened for such a long time, at a slow pace as I was moving due to single line traffic on a crowded night, 20-30 seconds, 15-20 feet away, that could be a difference factor in being in the group of likelihood that something did happen.
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Old 04-13-2009, 05:15 PM #11
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Default Re: need helpful advice on laser pointer safety

First of all, no retail store can legally sell class 3B lasers as laser pointers. Second, the fact that it was a red laser probably means it is at most 5mw. It is rare to find a 10-20mw red laser (not many online shops sell them), and extremely unlikely that such a device would be sold at any pawn shop. Add that to the fact that the laser diverges over distance, and the exposure time was most likely under 1sec (pretty hard to keep a laser on a moving target the size of your eye at 30ft) means that you probably don't need to worry about any permanent eye damage. Now if it was green, then I'd be more careful as some of these tend to be overpowered. But since the laser is red, and by your description isn't one of those 200mw reds you can buy online, I wouldn't worry about it. The fact that your optometrist didn't see any signs of damage confirms this.
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Old 04-16-2009, 03:17 AM #12
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Default Re: need helpful advice on laser pointer safety

Quote:
Originally Posted by x101xtreme
First of all, no retail store can legally sell class 3B lasers as laser pointers. Second, the fact that it was a red laser probably means it is at most 5mw. It is rare to find a 10-20mw red laser (not many online shops sell them), and extremely unlikely that such a device would be sold at any pawn shop. Add that to the fact that the laser diverges over distance, and the exposure time was most likely under 1sec (pretty hard to keep a laser on a moving target the size of your eye at 30ft) means that you probably don't need to worry about any permanent eye damage. Now if it was green, then I'd be more careful as some of these tend to be overpowered. But since the laser is red, and by your description isn't one of those 200mw reds you can buy online, I wouldn't worry about it. The fact that your optometrist didn't see any signs of damage confirms this.
well, the problem is this: *These are all in a church setting and being that it is, the way that everyone lines up and the pace that everyone walks up and down from the alter to their seat, I haven't done this to someone, but i know for a fact that it's a heck of a lot easier to focus and aim at someone with these as compared to someone walking outdoors. *

I didn't say 30ft either. it's more like 15-20 feet away at 30 seconds of exposure in one instance.

There's been a couple of other instances that I didn't mention in this post where I was hit with these things, even on couple of instances I saw a green color from the side of my eye, and it was from a pack of kids with these all in one bunch doing this. *At one point, I wasn't looking because I was facing forward, but I saw briefly 3 or 4 laser points of red and green variances all around the side of my eye and when I looked around, it was gone, but I heard a bunch of chuckles, so i know something was up. *

At one point, a pair of those mixes could've crossed the same point on the eye and I was told from someone that that's alternatively another way you can get permanent damage in a short amount of time, rather than the other, being the long time of exposure.

I thank people who have been open to respond to my questions, but i'm not exaggerating any of this. *what I have observed is what is. *There's just a lot of stupid low end kids owning these things fooling around like that and I don't know the strength level of each of them because I don't have the time of playing Mr. Cop, patrolling around in church, but I can't assume that they're all 1-5mw. *I know legally, it's not likely to see people around here with them, but I can't rule accessing one out of the scope.

I know that no retail store can sell the ones outside of the 5mw range, but it's easily accessible. *In fact, I'm not going to promote this, but I was able to find several places that have these just to prove it.

I know the members of the parish have caught some of these kids, but all they do is let a warning and that does nothing with removing these things or committing the act again. *I know it's harsh, but since I've gotten so irritated over my eye sight (regardless of the dilation results), maybe the next time it happens, I should force them to stick around and get one of them written up by a cop, just to knock some hard sense into them about how much of an idiot they're being doing this to not only me, but other people as well.

it's a senseless act and just because it's a bunch of kids and teenagers doing it, the only young and dumb immaturity excuse shouldn't save them from getting away with this.
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Old 04-19-2009, 01:45 PM #13
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Default Re: need helpful advice on laser pointer safety

You are being paranoid. I routinely handle 200mW and 300mW lasers with no eye damage. Those are the kind of lasers that you would have to worry about being pointed near the eye. If you ask how much I paid the answer is over $100. 5mW especially from a distance is not going to harm you. The kid would have to be close enough to grab to hurt your eye.

Unless a kid stole an one from his dad you have nothing to worry about. Now if you got hit in the eye with a 200mW blu-ray for example you would know it!. Instantly you would be hit by a light as bright as the sun (not really but it would seem that way). A 5mW pointer isn't going to do that.

If you are this worried about it buy laser glasses, I guess? If it honestly makes you feel better many companies sell them. If it's a red laser get sunglasses for a red pointer, green laser buy for green. That's my advice, anything that will have will give you peace of mind. Good luck. [smiley=thumbsup.gif]
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Old 05-06-2009, 09:28 AM #14
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^ That was going to be my recommendation. There are some types of laser glasses that would appear to the general public to be sunglasses, looking a bit like blu blockers. They would help tremendously for anything under about 10mW, and would probably discourage pranks because of the difficulty of aiming at your eyes maliciously.
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