Old 02-24-2014, 11:03 PM #1
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Default How Is It That LASIK Lasers Are More Powerful But Don't Destroy Your Vision

I've been wondering about this for a while. How is it that a surgical laser can be used to shave off slices of your cornea and not damage the retina but if you're hit in even your eye whites with infrared laser (the type we discuss on the forums) it'll fuck your day up?


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Old 02-24-2014, 11:44 PM #2
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Default Re: How Is It That LASIK Lasers Are More Powerful But Don't Destroy Your Vision

LASIK - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

According to that, the lasers used are ultraviolet, typically 193nm, emitted by an excimer laser. The cornea is basically opaque to that wavelength; none of it ever reaches the retina and thus no damage can be caused in that manner.

The cornea is opaque to certain IR wavelengths as well. Take 10.6Ám, the wavelength emitted by the carbon dioxide laser. It won't burn your retina... or at least, not until it burns through your cornea first.

So, if you get hit with one of those (in uncontrolled circumstances) you will suffer corneal burns, followed by burns to the lens itself, which can lead to cataracts and other nasty stuff. It's every bit as bad as getting shot with a visible laser; the damage simply occurs elsewhere (i.e. not the retina, since none of that light can initially reach it).

(eta: on a side note, it's encouraged to avoid too much profanity here. I won't lecture you on it... lord knows I use enough of it IRL ... but on LPF discretion in its use is advised.)
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