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Eye damage by laser pointer.

danny6

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Few years ago my eye was seriously damaged by laser pointer. From that day on sometimes my eye a bit hurts and my head too. But my eyesight is still ideal.

So, I wonder what will be the long-term consequences of damaged retina by laser pointer? Will I be almost blind on one eye?

Also I wonder, after what time my eyesight will start too be bad... I mean, after how many years after damaged have been done? After 7 years? After 9? Is there any rule in that cases?
 

mortuus

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Why havent you gone to an eye doctor specialist? only someone like that can give you an answer, u dont want to get answers here like maybe or i dont know..
 
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you probably should have seen an eye doctor. if it still bothers you, go see one now. it may also be unrelated, since you said time has passed since then.
 

ElectricPlasma

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I would imagine with time it would heal rather than get worse, however listen to these guys, see a doctor! This is your eyesight you're talking about, don't wait, good luck!
 

Gabe

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Your eye wouldn't hurt with an injury like that... Same goes with your head, unless you got a headache/epileptic fir from the flash of light... In which case you would notice headaches just from playing with them. Maybe it was just a placebo pain... You could check with an eye injury doctor, not an eyesight doctor. Can't remember what they're called, but not an optometrist.
 

trussmonkey25

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Your eye wouldn't hurt with an injury like that... Same goes with your head, unless you got a headache/epileptic fir from the flash of light... In which case you would notice headaches just from playing with them. Maybe it was just a placebo pain... You could check with an eye injury doctor, not an eyesight doctor. Can't remember what they're called, but not an optometrist.
Opthalmologist.
 

LSRFAQ

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Its not uncommon for headaches to happen due to laser injuries for years after the fact.
The eyes are very interdependent for alignment with each other for steroscopic vision.

If the brain can't reconcile the overlapping portions in the two images, or if there was damage to the fovea where the optic nerve joins into the retina, such problems can happen.

OP needs to see a opthalmic surgical specialist, after a quic visit to an optometrist to ensure he doesn't just need glasses.


Steve
 
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Gabe

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Its not uncommon for headaches to happen due to laser injuries for years after the fact.
The eyes are very interdependent for alignment with each other for steroscopic vision.

If the brain can't reconcile the overlapping portions in the two images, or if there was damage to the fovea where the optic nerve joins into the retina, such problems can happen.

OP needs to see a opthalmic surgical specialist, after a quic visit to an optometrist to ensure he doesn't just need glasses.


Steve
That makes sense. Does this irritation occur while the brain is also compensating/covering up the damaged spot in your vision, or is that separate? I would think damage severe enough to cause strain while the brain is processing it, would still be at least a bit noticeable after the fact, no?
 

LSRFAQ

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That makes sense. Does this irritation occur while the brain is also compensating/covering up the damaged spot in your vision, or is that separate? I would think damage severe enough to cause strain while the brain is processing it, would still be at least a bit noticeable after the fact, no?
It dramatically depends on the magnitude of the burn, size of the burn spot, relation to location of optic nerve, and where the location is in the visual field.

Peripheral burns for example, might be almost un-noticable, until the truck hits you. Burns carefully placed to attach a detached retina might result in a general fuzzyness in the vision..


So there is no "typical" laser burn.


In my case, the tiny, tiny, burn received when a co-worker deviated from lock-out tag-out, was noticable for about five years off and on, with some headaches in direct sunlight. Now I cannot find the spot. I did watch the brain remap in real time, so I was lucky as mine was tiny, and barely in the main visual field. It was a moving, fuzzy, black spot on the edge of my main vision at 1 O'clock. However, all I had to do was rapidly pan my head from right to left, then I'd catch it.

It takes the brain quite a while to compensate. The headache lasted for days in my case.
You need to be watching a large white wall to see the remap, which is SCARY to watch. Evidently the brain is constantly using trial and error feedback via saccadic motion to align the eyes. I actually smile when people use the term Safety N**I to refer to me. I was asked to join LPF to encourage safety by some members of the laser show community. Hard to argue with the guy who has experienced the damage, right?


Less then 20-30 mW of 488 nm light in my case. Stupid College Senior Coworker flopped the lockuput tag off the safety key and turned on the show control computer, while I was forward of a laser show beam table. He could clearly see I was forward of the safety line. The 25 watt capable SP 171 was idling and cavity detuned to align the table at low power. All the shutter arms popped up as the computer reset the table during boot. Thus I got a painful 100-200 milliSecond exposure. (There is not always pain as a symptom!) That was 1989 or so.

I'll not regret saying a few weeks of pain, and horrible fear turned me into a laser safety martinet. With GOOD reason. I have a LSO cert for a reason.

My burn is no where near as bad as a friend with over 30 years in the business who looked down the bore wondering why his gas laser had no plasma. The start pulse fired late... He's missing about 1/4th the vision in one eye with NO recovery. That turned him into one of the world's leading eye safety experts. With a degree in Engineering on top of the LSO career.

Recovery or healing is is rare, very rare. What you get if your lucky is brain compensation, and no more. I've watched another person with a severe burn "Dodge and Weave" thru obsticles that are not there, when walking inside in dim light. As I say, no way to estimate what will happen for a given situation.

I've moved to to lab lasers, and knowing what can happen helps where your training newbies around 50 Joule pulses. They tend to pay more attention long term when you tell them your story. The "melted spot" retinal photo collection helps, too.

The quicker you get treatment, the more the surgeon can reduce the bleeding, swelling, and inflamation on the retina. That was not known when I received the injury. Old school logic was live with it, its permanent. New logic, treatment within a hour to a few hours can reduce lesion size or in bad cases, save the eye.

Steroids, Pain Killers, and Nutrients, can contribute to reduced permanent damage.


Problem is, most ER docs may not know what to do, and most optometrists (they make eye glasses!) would have no idea. But the way the medical system works, you often have to see one of them FIRST, especially because of medical insurance procedures. They then book you an appointment well after its too late to reduce the impact... You may have just have severe eyestrain from a near miss, or you may have trauma. More then one person(many airline pilots!) has painfully scratched a cornea or sclera from the dirty hand coming up to protect the un-injured eye. Either way you need to see a pro, and its worth it to strongly pressure for an emergency session with an expert "Opthalmic Surgeon, or Retinal Specialist"



End lesson rant exercise... If you want a second opine, ask Hakzaw, he knows me fairly well...


Steve,
 
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diachi

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It takes the brain quite a while and the headache lasted for days in my case.
You need to be watching a large white wall to see the remap, which is SCARY to watch. I actually smile when people use the term Safety N**I to refer to me. I was asked to joing LPF to encourage safety by some members of the laser show community. Hard to argue with the guy who has experienced the damage, right?

Steve

I removed the rest of your post from the quote, even though it's relevant to the discussion and interesting to read - but I'm only going to ask about the remap part.

Scary? What did it look like? I'm very curious! I wouldn't have thought you'd see a notable difference over any short period of time, only over the course of weeks or months.

Glad you came over here too Steve, your input is always appreciated! :)
 
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LSRFAQ

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Diachi,

Your a college student, your reading a book, and R becomes an up-side down fuzzy A. Then a patch of vision about 3 degrees wide starts moving around a central point, trying for the best compensation. This goes on for a few days,then it settled down.

You move your head, and it tries a new alignment for the fuzzy fractle patch... Then you watch the fuzzy patch start to "blend in" from one side, and go away over a period of an hour or so.

I'll not mention the color shifts.. Or the migraines.. Or the urge to rub the eye for days, which of course, makes alignment worse.

Did I mention this was VERY scary for a 19 year old.... Just think of trying to explain that to a pair of VERY conservative parents....


A few years later, you try for a Pilots License, and the medical officer notices a slight,brief, jerking motion in the afflicted eye when he says "follow my finger".Since then I can follow the finger cleanly. Because I practiced. I'm not even sure its related. But he says, "Hum, ever had an eye injury?" To lie is fatal at that point.

About ten years later I have a different eye problem, and the surgeon has the new digital retinal scanner. Even with guidance, he can't find the lesion, because its tiny.

Allow me to testify. I cannot speak highly enough for properly selected, properly tested, wrap around laser safety glasses or goggles.. Or reducing power to the minimum (Class IIIA or less) required for an alignment task, or using a camera to view alignment tasks in lieu of direct viewing.

Steve
 
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diachi

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Diachi,

Your a college student, your reading a book, and R becomes an up-side down fuzzy A. Then a patch of vision about 3 degrees wide starts moving around a central point, trying for the best compensation. This goes on for a few days,then it settled down.

You move your head, and it tries a new alignment for the fuzzy fractle patch... Then you watch the fuzzy patch start to "blend in" from one side, and go away over a period of an hour or so.

I'll not mention the color shifts.. Or the migraines.. Or the urge to rub the eye for days, which of course, makes alignment worse.

Did I mention this was VERY scary for a 19 year old.... Just think of trying to explain that to a pair of VERY conservative parents....


A few years later, you try for a Pilots License, and the medical officer notices a slight,brief, jerking motion in the afflicted eye when he says "follow my finger".Since then I can follow the finger cleanly. Because I practiced. I'm not even sure its related. But he says, "Hum, ever had an eye injury?" To lie is fatal at that point.

About ten years later I have a different eye problem, and the surgeon has the new digital retinal scanner. Even with guidance, he can't find the lesion, because its tiny.

Allow me to testify. I cannot speak highly enough for properly selected, properly tested, wrap around laser safety glasses or goggles.. Or reducing power to the minimum (Class IIIA or less) required for an alignment task, or using a camera to view alignment tasks in lieu of direct viewing.

Steve

Steve,

That does sound scary, certainly disorientating - especially the part about explaining to your rather conservative parents! :D

Did you manage to get your pilots license? That's something I've been interested in for years.

Thanks again for your input Steve! Seconded on the glasses! What do you think of the Eagle Pair glasses that are often recommended here? Should we continue recommending those? Generally I steer people away from cheap eBay Chinese glasses and towards the Eagle Pair seeing as they don't break the bank but have been tested by several members here and so far seem to do the job just fine.

Safety
 
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It's a tooMAH. But seriously though, a forum is not the appropriate place to ask physician related questions. Please seek proper medical advice from a qualified professional.
 




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