Ralphie from “A Christmas Story” was disappointed he didn’t get a toy bb gun because he’d shoot his eye out, but now blue laser toys are the concern for serious eye injuries.
A study in Saudi Arabia was just conducted to better illustrate the dangers of high-powered blue laser devices. The research is in support of the FDA, Laser Institute of America and the American National Standards Institute, who all agree there is potential risk from handheld lasers with an output of more than 5mW. At this output, the light can cause serious damage, even if only exposed for mere seconds.
The study looked at 14 patients with varying degree of eye injuries – from a macular hole, hemorrhages in the retinal layers, retinal disruption and a cavity in the retina – and found that 70 percent of the patients required intervention to correct their vision.
Ophthalmologist Thomas Henderson, M.D. offers, “High powered blue light lasers are available on the internet. The danger is that they might be mistaken for the low powered red or green laser pointer and, if used carelessly, the blue laser might cause irreversible loss of central vision in an instant.”
One of the study’s authors pointed to government action as a solution to keeping laser toys out of the hands of individuals who might not be aware of the laser’s risk.