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ArcticMyst Security by Avery

Got hit in my eye by a <5mW 532nm laserpointer glass window reflection.

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Hello everybody, I'm usually not the leacher type who goes onto random forums and asks questions without contributing anything but I didn't find a answer on google and I'm a little worried about this.

Yesterday I accidently pointed my laser pointer towards a glass window (indoors) and the reflection hit me in my right eye. My right eye still feels a little weird and just a tiny bit out of focus (that could caused by something else though)

It's saturday now and I doubt I can get an appointment with my regular doctor until monday, probably longer if I need to see a specialist.

I wore my regular prescription glasses (or whatever they are called) btw. Not one of those laser safety goggles.

Laser pointer is class III <5mW 532nm with a green color. Not sure what brand it is, probably one of those cheaper types.

Could this have caused any permanent damage? If so, how do I know? Thanks.
 





Razako

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Depends on whether the pointer was actually <5mw or higher. No real way to know if you hurt your eyes without going to a doctor, although it's unlikely you were hurt if you just got hit by a window reflection. Usually those are <10% of the original beam strength. It would only be a real issue if your pointer was >50mw or something.
 

Pman

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There are a ton of threads concerning this question. Try using the LPF thread search and you will find enough information to occupy your whole day;)
Bottom line is if you are concerned then you should see an eye doctor about it period instead of worrying. Can't hurt and it's certainly better than second guessing yourself. Expect pretty much everyone else to tell you the same thing.
 
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Depends on whether the pointer was actually <5mw or higher. No real way to know if you hurt your eyes without going to a doctor, although it's unlikely you were hurt if you just got hit by a window reflection. Usually those are <10% of the original beam strength. It would only be a real issue if your pointer was >50mw or something.

Thank you! That was basically the answer I was looking for. I will probably still see a doctor though, better to be on the safe side.
 
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There are a ton of threads concerning this question. Try using the LPF thread search and you will find enough information to occupy your whole day;)
Bottom line is if you are concerned then you should see an eye doctor about it period instead of worrying. Can't hurt and it's certainly better than second guessing yourself. Expect pretty much everyone else to tell you the same thing.

^^^ what Pete said
OK
don't want to pick on OP BUT ...no ---you did not search.
and EVERY new thread like this one REALLY makes the rest of us--look like idiots to the outside world- you may very well be reading about this thread at other less- friendly to pointer sites.. you are the 1% that hurts the 99%
are you starved for attention??--- ever hear of 'airing dirty laundry'???<< search that.
====

how do you know the mW??? you don't:shhh:


go fix yourself and let this thread go away or BETTER delete it.
 
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^^^ what Pete said
OK
don't want to pick on OP BUT ...no ---you did not search.
and EVERY new thread like this one REALLY makes the rest of us--look like idiots to the outside world- you may very well be reading about this thread at other less- friendly to pointer sites.. you are the 1% that hurts the 99%
are you starved for attention??--- ever hear of 'airing dirty laundry'???<< search that.
====

how do you know the mW??? you don't:shhh:


go fix yourself and let this thread go away or BETTER delete it.

Are you having a bad day or something? Your behavior isn't acceptable. If you worry so much about looking stupid you shouldn't say shit like that.
 

diachi

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Are you having a bad day or something? Your behavior isn't acceptable. If you worry so much about looking stupid you shouldn't say shit like that.

Gotta agree with you!

Hak, that did come across as rather rude. Not that I disagree with the point, but it could have been worded more politely. Attitudes like that are only going to drive people away, existing members and potential new members alike.
 
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Gotta agree with you!

Hak, that did come across as rather rude. Not that I disagree with the point, but it could have been worded more politely. Attitudes like that are only going to drive people away, existing members and potential new members alike.

hak always seems to be in a bad mood :/

-Alex
 

Benm

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There are a ton of threads concerning this question. Try using the LPF thread search and you will find enough information to occupy your whole day;)
Bottom line is if you are concerned then you should see an eye doctor about it period instead of worrying. Can't hurt and it's certainly better than second guessing yourself. Expect pretty much everyone else to tell you the same thing.

Indeed.

The problem is that we can't really tell what your situation actually is. There are some laser pointers on the market labeled as 5 mW but have, under certain conditions, far larger output powers.

IF yours was certified to by 5 mW or less the reflection of a window pane in any reasonable angle would be under 10% leaving you with nothing to worry about.

Sadly some units advertised as 5 mW can actually go up to 100 mW or so at the right temperature and battery voltage, making a window reflection potentially damaging.

There are too many IFs in this whole story. The only thing i'd say that IF you feel your eyesight might be damaged you should seek medical attention as soon as possible. It's probably best NOT to wait for normal business hours in that case as damage can be mitgated better the sooner it is discovered.
 
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IF you are hit with a laser beam
“It is common for people to see a bright flash of light and think that they are injured when they really are not. The ophthalmologist has to be somewhat leery of what caused the injury. Was it caused by a laser? Or are you observing a visual anomaly that has been there all along? I recommend referring these patients to an ophthalmologist who has experience with this type of injury.” -- Laser injury expert Bruce Stuck, director of the U.S. Army Medical Research Detachment of the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research at Brooks Air Force Base.




The following recommendations are for persons who have had adverse vision effects after being hit in the eye by a laser beam, such as from a laser pointer, laser pen or laser light show. For pilots, please also see the page ”How to reduce incidents: For pilots”, which lists what you should do during and after a laser illumination.

Note that before going to a doctor, you may want to call police or relevant authorities if the incident was serious or poses a threat to others. For more information, see the “To report an incident” page.


If you were at a laser light show


Professional laser light shows are intended to safely scan into the audience. At audience scanning shows there will be occasional “hits” to the eye, but as long as there is no afterimage, the light level should be safe.

If you experience uncomfortable light levels or long-lasting afterimages, you should take simple actions to avoid the direct laser beams. Fortunately, even in such a case of brighter shows, injury reports from continuous-wave lasers are extremely rare.

Three shows over the past decades have stupidly and illegally scanned pulsed lasers into audiences. This caused approximately 50 total injuries in the three incidents. However, all responsible laserists know that they must never use pulsed-type lasers for audience scanning.

There also has been a report of audience injuries, initially attributed to a laser show, which turned out to be due to irresponsible laser pointer misuse by audience members. If you are interested in this topic, much more information is available in a paper about audience scanning.

For information about the safety of outdoor laser light shows (e.g., how shows operate to protect pilots’ vision), see the ILDA page.


Don’t panic


If you were exposed in the eye to a direct laser beam, do not unduly worry. A beam in the eye may cause temporary flashblindness and afterimages. This is not an injury. Instead, this is the eye’s normal response to overly bright light. It is similar to what happens after looking directly into a camera flash. The afterimage area looks like a blob if you looked directly at the light, or can look like separate spots or a line if the eye was moving during the exposure.

Afterimages take about 5 or 10 minutes to fade. If after this time the spots are still visible, you may have retinal damage. Fortunately, this often heals within a few days or weeks. This is similar to how your skin heals after getting a small cut or a bruise. Vision may return completely to normal, or you may have faint spots noticeable only under special conditions such as looking at a uniform white wall or blue sky. An Amsler Grid test can help in finding small lesions within 8-10 degrees of the fovea.

(Technically, afterimages are not injuries since they are caused by saturation of rhodopsin or "bleaching" in the outer segments of photoreceptors that results in a localized reduced sensitivity. An injury results in a minimally visible lesion which histologically involves the retinal pigmented epithelium and the photoreceptors.)


Self-test from the U.K. Civil Aviation Authority

The U.K. Civil Aviation Authority have produced an “Aviation Laser Exposure Self-Assessment”, to be used by persons exposed to laser light. The ALESA card is available in hard copy, and can also be downloaded from CAA’s website. If downloaded, the Amsler Grid on the first page should be printed so it is 10 x 10 cm, or 4 x 4 in.
go here to see 12 more pages on this and the self-test

Laser Pointer Safety - What to do, if you are hit by a laser pointer or laser pen

attached are inserts that should be sent along with any sale- repair etc.
 

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This is from same place further on in the article but important to read- especially for those who did not click the link and read all..

"
The following statement is from the U.S. Air Force Laser Injury Guidebook. It is a guide that can be read to a pilot, or any person who has been exposed to laser light. We have changed one word which was ambiguous (from “injuries” to “exposures” in sentence 4).

If you have been involved in a laser incident, then naturally you are concerned about what effect the laser might have had on your eyes and vision. If you can read 20/20 and there is no distortion on the Amsler grid test, then it is unlikely that the laser did any significant damage. In fact, it may have done none at all.
Laser exposures can have a wide range of effects including flash blindness, dazzle, dark spots, hazy vision, floaters, burns, retinal bleeding, etc. Of special interest are the hazards posed by visible lasers from glare and flash blindness, and from very high energy lasers that could cause serious thermal injuries. Luckily, the part of the eye responsible for most of our central vision is about the size of a pinhead. It is possible, that this area could be damaged by a laser, but only if a person happened to be looking directly at the light. A laser injury even a few millimeters away from this area, will probably not significantly affect the central vision. The central vision is what you use to read, watch TV, and drive.
Most people after encountering a laser incident quite naturally start to become overly conscious about how their eyes feel and sometimes begin to rub their eyes. This has caused some people to erroneously conclude that their eye was injured. Furthermore, rubbing of the eyes can produce small scratches on the cornea resulting in painful irritated eyes. The important point is that if your vision and eyes seem normal after direct laser beam exposure, then there is probably no significant damage to your eyes due to the laser beam.

Other post-exposure effects, and self-caused injuries


Sometimes, persons surprised by bright lasers report a physical reaction such as feeling “hit” or stunned. They may have a headache afterwards. They may report extra-sensitivity to light. They may also have watery eyes, or report having dry eyes.

Post-exposure examinations sometimes find “corneal abrasions”. Since visible laser light passes through the cornea and is not absorbed, the abrasions had to come from rubbing their eyes after the incident.

Therefore, after exposure to a bright visible laser, avoid rubbing your eye. If it is watering, you can dab it with a tissue.


What is an injury?


For visible light exposures such as from laser pointers or shows, the only part of the eye that can be damaged is the retina. A lesion or scotoma on the retina is rightfully termed a “laser eye injury” or “laser eye damage”.

In contrast, if a person has afterimages, or a physical reaction, or rubs their eyes, these are NOT injuries. They are “laser exposure effects” or “post-exposure effects”.

It would be inaccurate for a newspaper to report that a pilot was “injured” by a laser if they did not have the spots or retinal lesions which indicate true injuries. An accurate description would be that the pilot was “affected” by the laser light, and to list the particular effects reported (afterimages, headache, photophobia, dry eye, watering eye, corneal abrasion, etc.). end quote
 
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sNaKe123 Can we see a picture of the laser? Hopefully it's not like a 301 or something, and not to scare you but only time will tell to see if you have any actual damage, you may not know if you have damage until it's too late. Always safer to see a doctor!
 
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BowtieGuy

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A lot of great information in those two posts Len, hopefully people will take some time to read through them.

I really like your idea of sending those 3 charts along with any sales or repairs, it won't ensure that the rules will be followed, but it puts them right in front of you as a reminder! :beer:

BTW, It would be nice and handy to have those files always available, maybe at the top of the BST section (hint, hint), so that the builders and sellers could always go and grab a copy to send with their builds and repairs!

:gj: +rep!
 
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Actual verified injuries from 532 pointers are extremely rare..
The vast majority of those were self-inflected by drugged or drunk folks who stared into the beam on purpose..
it must be remembered- the exposure time is pretty much fixed at .25 seconds and area hit is 7mm dia or LESS.. & glancing off a window as opposed to a mirror..
not all get reflected.. it is by far NOT impossible-- IF the beam is horizontal and all the power goes thru the eye's lens AND hits the Macula OR Fovea-- the power can be 10,000 times more...one can lose visual acuity in the most important place and leave the injuried unable to read and/or see colors!!! try reading something while looking at quarter. not easy... try reading around a quarter-- no can do..
if you are looking at the center of the coin.. you would have to look NEAR a stop light to see the red or green-but not directly at it..must be a hard thing to get used to..

hak
 

Benm

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One problem is that is is very difficult to tell apart a real injury or just a temporary bleaching without medical examination. The only practical thing i can think of otherwise is to see how long the problem lasts: if it heals itself within an hour or so it's probably not an injury.

Real injuries can appear to heal over time though: they don't physically heal, but the brain will start compensating for the loss. Since we have 2 eyes the brain can get pretty good at this too, filling in missing information from the injured eye with that of the other one, and/or filling in the blanks with the most logical information. It is not unlike how you would fix an area of dead pixels with content-aware fill in photoshop.

As for laser show safety: In the western world regulations are usually followed and MPE limits well respected. You may find situations that show little regard in other places, for example south eastern asia. If you visit nightclubs and such there be aware of this and try to avoid looking directly at any laser projectors just in case.

I've seen pretty fsckd up installations, for example one on bali that basically had 5 green lasers of, guestimating, 100 mW-ish output each beaming down the entrance hall to a club. These things were aimed fairly high for asian standards, but would hit a tall westener straight in the face. They did adapt this setup by changing the focus on the beams so that they would be a LOT wider by the time they hit westener-eye-level after a bit.
 





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