Health officials in Australia are warning parents around the world to the potential side effects from the use of laser pointers as toys.
Last week, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported that a teenager from Tasmania lost 75% of his vision after a laser pointer shone directly into his eyes while playing with him.
14-year old boy began serious problems with his eyes, but his parents took him to their family doctor. The doctor felt a serious eye problem, and called optometrists Ben Armitage to investigate the boy’s eye problems.
Ben Armitage said he came to see him on Friday night after his eyes were exposed to the laser only a short time. He photographed the boy’s eyes and discovered that he burned his retina and permanently damaged the rear of his eyes.
Armitage did say that, unfortunately, the area of the eye that is affected by the area where the detailed central vision, and as a result, the extent of damage on his vision is enlarged. Laser caused the boy to lose 75% of his vision in both eyes.
Family of the boy reported that the boy had no pain after the laser was pointed at his eye,but that immediately affected his vision. His eyes were burned near the macula. This means that his blindness is likely to be permanent.
Armitage said he was optimistic that some of the boy’s sight will return after the swelling fall, but it is likely to be to the end of his life partially blind. He also explained that the damage caused to the boy can not be corrected with glasses.
As Christmas nears, CEO of Optometry in Tasmania Jeff Squibb has issued a warning, telling parents to avoid buying laser pointers to their children.
According to data from the administrative center for Devices and Radiological Health, laser of 5 mW can cause damage, and for those “duly marked” in the range of 3-5 mW no reported cases of eye damage.
Most laser pointers sold in the United States was approved by the Food and Drug Administration, but some are imported and do not adhere to the same security policy.