The Optometrists and health officials in Australia are warning all parents around the world about the potential side effects of using laser pointers as toys. This is a warning to all parents – laser pointers are not toys! They can be dangerous.A 14-year-oldteenager from Tasmania lost 75% of his eyesight after shining a laser pointer in his eye while he was playing with it. The 14-year-old boy started to havesome serious problems with his eyes, so his parents took him to their family doctor.
The doctor sensed a serious eye problem, and called Optometrist Ben Armitage to investigate the boy’s eyesight problems.Ben Armitage said that the boy came to see him on Friday evening after his eyes had been exposed to the laser for only a brief amount of time. He took photographs of the boy’s eyes and discovered that he had burned his retinas and permanently damaged the backs of his eyes.
Armitage said that the area of the eye that was affected is where detailed central vision occurs, and as a result, the extent of the damage to his eyesight was magnified. The boy’s vision is now only 25% from what’s considered 20/20 vision. The laser pointer removed 75% of his vision. “The boy managed to burn the retina at the back of the eye near an area called the macular”, he said.
Armitage also mentioned that the effects on vision loss were exaggerated, because the macular is an area for a lot of detailed vision. Well, the boy didn’t experience any pain after the laser was pointed at his eye, but his vision was affected immediately after. His eyes were burned near the macular. That means his blindness will probably be permanent.
Armitage said that he was optimistic that some of the boy’s vision would return once the swelling went down, but he will likely be partially blind for the rest of his life. He also explained that the damage caused to the boy’s eyes cannot be fixed with glasses. The area of vision that was affected was the central vision – which means that it lets you focus straight ahead, allowing you to read, drive and see details sharply. And the worst thing about it is that no surgery, glasses or anything can restore this boy’s central vision.
As Christmas approaches, Optometry Tasmania Chief Executive Geoff Squibb has issued a warning, telling parents to avoid purchasing laser pointers for their children.Remember – laser pointers are not toys! So, don’t let your kids play with them, because they can be really dangerous. Thanks for reading and don’t forget to share with your friends and family.