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Playing with a 1.5w Blue laser and my eye hurts

snowluck2345

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Yesterday night I was playing with a 1.5w blue laser and my right eye hurts and I feel my peripheral vision is lesser.

Am I just being paranoid?

My eye may hurt because my high school put on a graduation party which was all night, but since then I've slept for a few hours.

I have no dark spots I can see in my vision.

I was playing with the laser without googles and I saw the spot about 5 feet away focused on a white matte wall.

I saw no direct reflections.

I also melted a piece of chocolate, I worry that may have hurt my eye.
 



Livinloud

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you need to go get your eyes checked out ASAP! not a smart move for playing with a laser at close range without any protection! fingers crossed you didnt permanently mess your eyes up!!!! even at 5ft away a 1.5W laser is going to be SUPER harmful to your eyes! even matte surfaces reflect light. get it checked out by a professional and let us know what the findings are
 
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joshshermannn1

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http://laserpointerforums.com/f53/hit-eye-1000mw-445nm-blue-laser-69469.html
Quote from Xoul "Take-aways: Rushing to the ER is not always the best option. It's better to see a specialist that can actually help you. The total outcome of going to 2 ERs was having to pay about $1000 (this is after insurance covers their part) and being told to come back during regular hours to see a retinal specialist. So, unless your just loaded to the gills with money and/or paranoid, I would suggest waiting until you can see a specialist. Both ERs didn't seem it to be necessary to take any immediate action, so I'm basing these suggestions on end results - I paid $1000 for advice."
My advice is the same his Xoul's. I personally don't think you have permanent retina damage, but I can't really tell, you need to be more specific. Wear glasses next time. ALSO NOTE: if you do have retina damage, going to the ER can help with damage control, and if you go to a good one, they could operate the same day.
Hope everything turns out alright and it's only your
:beer:
 
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Livinloud

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yes i agree that you need to see an eye specialist. by ASAP i meant monday you need to see them instead of like next week if it doesnt get better
 

snowluck2345

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Edit, it no longer hurts and I think I was just being paranoid. I had been up for over 30 hours at the time my eye was hurting and its feeling better now. I have no dark spots in my vision, and as far as I can tell no blurs. In the past when i have been to an optometrist they said really don't worry too much about most things as its harder to hurt your eyes than you think.

I am wondering, assuming a matte surface how will the dot hurt your eyes? Like isn't the relative brightness minmal? Like your 1.5m away, and the light is radiating in every direction equally so its the amount of actual energy that hits your eyes very minimal?
 

Livinloud

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1.5W is 300, let me say that again THREE HUNDRED, times more than the human eye can safely take. get some safety glasses now or please dont use your laser until you have them. it doesnt matter if the surface is matte or not. a matte surface will still reflect more than enough light to permanently damage your eye
 

snowluck2345

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Ok, I have safety glasses, I just didn't have them with me at the time and I wasn't too worried because I remember asking some guys I know and they said that at a distance the light is so diffuse it doesn't matter. I'm still confused on this matter and I asked a few guys and they all said the same thing. I asked 5 guys and all said the same thing, don't worry about it aslong as you don't get a direct reflection. But some people say it will kill your eyes.

I will always wear them from now on though.
 
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Livinloud

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at 5 feet i would love to know who said it would be safe because IMO you asked the wrong 5 guys. yes please do wear your glasses at all times when using lasers, unless you are shining in a CLEAR sky and that way there is no chance of reflections
 

snowluck2345

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Ok, so what if it is cloudy?

Three of them are guys I work for, they all went to Stanford, they didn't do major calculations but some quick back of the napkin ones.
The other guys are some people I met through my internship who both attended CalTech and they have both done a fair amount of optics work. Like based on this I'm inclined to believe them, but I want to be safe with my eyes, so could you please explain to me why it is unsafe more than just saying is 300 times as powerful as is safe for your eyes.
 
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joshshermannn1

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Yep @ LivinLoud^
If its cloudy its cloud it doesn't matter, just watch our for planes. Lasers are different from other kind of lights, they have a higher power density. [they are not actually coherent after about a few centimeters though] From WikiPedia: "Another mechanism is photochemical damage, where light triggers chemical reactions in tissue. Photochemical damage occurs mostly with short-wavelength (blue and ultra-violet) light and can be accumulated over the course of hours. Laser pulses shorter than about 1 μs can cause a rapid rise in temperature, resulting in explosive boiling of water. The shock wave from the explosion can subsequently cause damage relatively far away from the point of impact. Ultrashort pulses can also exhibit self-focusing in the transparent parts of the eye, leading to an increase of the damage potential compared to longer pulses with the same energy. The eye focuses visible and near-infrared light onto the retina. A laser beam can be focused to an intensity on the retina which may be up to 200,000 times higher than at the point where the laser beam enters the eye." Wikipedia also has a lot of cool graphs showing power and energy density of lasers vs wavelengths. Eye damage is pretty complicated, so I could go on...If you read through Xoul's thread, you'll see that it's really not worth the risk. It's kinda depressing really.
 
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Livinloud

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the eye can blink fast enough to protect itself from 5mW of light. however when the light goes above 5mW the eye cant blink fast enough to protect itself from damage. by being 300 times more powerful than 5mW, it is doing damage before you can even blink.

Stanford doesnt mean crap unless they studied lasers and human eyes. do some searching on this forum and you will dig up NUMEROUS medical studies related to lasers and the danger to the human eye. your friends are probably great guys but they dont know Ford from Chevy when it comes to lasers, aka they dont know crap about lasers and no offense to them because they probably are genius in other topics.

EDIT: no offense to you or your friends, i just get really heated about laser safety and especially when people dont follow it or believe what someone else tells them without doing their own research. best example i can give you you ask you general contractor about a plumbing problem. you then trust their word since they have a license and should know what they are talking about, well too bad their license and specialty is in electrical work. little do you know they have never done any plumbing work in their life and only know what they have seen online or heard from other people.

other word, they know everything about electrical problems but dont know heads from tails on plumbing. this can be the case of your friends. they may know chemical engineering but dont know anything about lasers. when it comes to really smart people, they never want to admit they dont know the answer to the question asked.
 
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snowluck2345

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Ok. thank you.

So for me from now I will where my safety glasses whenever I shine them on a surface not the sky.

Is there a certain, safe distance I can shine my laser on that it won't damage my eye, assuming it is non reflective.

Also, if you would quickly explain to me, my problem when just thinking about these lasers is this:
The dot on he wall is reasonably big right? Like 1mmx1mm would be reasonable I would think? And since modern LED dies, like a cree XPE2 are similar size and can output upto 500 lumens if over driven, how is this that much more dangerous? I assume the emission pattern is similar between an led and a laser hitting a diffuse wall? Like a 2w laser is what, like 1200 lumens?

And your right, most of the guys have done little work with lasers, they were just stating basically what I was stating, that since its hitting a matte surface the intensity of light reflecting into your eye from 5ft or so is minimal.
 

joshshermannn1

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I would say about about 15 meters. I've never really measured it, so I can't give you an accurate answer. Comparing LEDs and lasers is like comparing apples to oranges, even if we're talking about the reflection. The power density of the laser is very different, and 445nm specifically is a dangerous wavelength(see my post above.) You'd probably be better off searching about why lasers and leds and different than hear it from me second hand. The main difference I can Identify in the scenario you said is that lasers travel more directly, even if diffused. So seeing a LED and a laser at 5ft is very different. Not only that, but looking at the dot at 5 feet on a white surface could damage your eyes.

EDIT: I don't mean to sound so dogmatic, but I've have friends that have eye damage from lasers, and the problem doesn't go away.
A member hear had eye damage from a 35mw laser, so 1500 is a killer. Nothing to play around with.
 
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Livinloud

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you are comparing apples to dragon fruit.....they arent even in the same division never mind league!

Well i guess one thing can be compared......stare into TRUE 1200 lumen and see how your eyes end up. any bright light will eventually destroy your vision.

however a focused 1.5W 445nm laser will light a match within a split second, show me a flashlight that can do this. show me a flashlight that can light a piece of 2x4 on fire or can pop 100 balloons lined up in a row. its just not possible ATM. lasers are more powerful than LED emitters since they have a focused beam where as LEDs have flood and throw. if you could focus a LED beam into a 1mmx1mm beam then yes you could compare the two but until then; lasers a the NHL while LEDs are your high school team, no comparison

thank you for seeing the dangers of lasers and wearing your glasses from now on. this is also the reason why lasers over 5mW are illegal without proper safety features

EDIT: as far as what is a safe distance to view the dot, ive never viewed my 1.5W 445nm dot at anything closer than about 150-200 yards. its not worth the risk to me. my eyes are WAY to valuable to risk the accidental damage of them. to me there is no point in seeing the dot without glasses. its a dot! i enjoy viewing the beam in the night sky and also enjoy viewing things burn from behind the protection of my glasses. if you want to see the dot or anything when burning, record it and then you can watch it over and over again, safely :D
 
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snowluck2345

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I am still a little confused on how looking at a laser dot on a wall that is 1mmx1mm is any different than staring at a 1mmx1mm led emitter?

Your comparison of a flashlight to a laser like that is what I said isn't true. A comparison to what I said would be if a laser dot reflecting off a matte wall could pop 100 balloons, show me a flashlight that can do that, but neither can do that, so your comparison doesn't seem to make any sense to me.
 

grainde

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I think Arglaser? did some tests and checked the power of some diffuse reflections from different surfaces. Surprisingly they were not that high. You might like to do a search for the thread. IMO however 5 ft is still way too close....

Having said that I am ultra cautious with my high power 445 and never use it indoors without goggles. Its just too powerful and one mistake could be very costly.

The issue with burning is very different however. When materials melt in the beam they can cause specular reflections! Things like chocolate or plastics for example...So as a rule NEVER BURN WITHOUT GOGGLES. As the molten material flows the surface is constantly changing, so you cannot predict where the beam will go. Putting it simply - DONT DO IT.

If I am using my 445 2.6 W outside I make sure I try to hit a dark coloured and pref matte back stop, more than 10 - 15 m away. Trees work well for this.

If you are concerned you should go and see an ophthalmologist and get your eyes checked. :beer:
 
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