Laser pointer burns hole in boy's retina

9-year-old boy burns hole in retina after staring into laser pointer beam

An eye exam revealed a large hole in the boy's macula, a part of the eye's retina that's responsible for central vision, or the ability to see things straight in front of you, according to the National Eye Institute.

The 9-year-old boy's parents brought him to the eye doctor because he was having vision problems in his left eye, according to the report, published yesterday (June 20) in The New England Journal of Medicine.

The boy's father bought the damaging green laser from a street merchant. There was also damage to two areas below the macular hole, CNN reported. She said that not many children are willing to disclose their eye injuries. This is why people shouldn't look directly at laser beams. Sadly, this means that even if the doctors conduct the surgery in this case, the boy will lose his vision.

As a result, the child, who was not identified and lives in Greece, was determined to have 20/100 vision in his left eye, compared to 20/20 in his right. "The patient's vision has remained unchanged during 18 months of follow-up".

'When you have something as powerful like a laser, it's so powerful that it is converted to heat like a burn, ' Dr. Thomas C. Lee, director of the Vision Center at Children's Hospital Los Angeles, who was not involved in the case, told CNN. "That can leave scar tissue behind and can cause bleeding".

Laser pointers may jazz up your PowerPoint presentation, but they can pose serious hazards to your eyes if you use them the wrong way. As it was a green laser, Androudi stressed that it is more unsafe to use than a typical red-orange pointer, as human eyes are more sensitive to blue-green light. The patient can actually get a blind spot right in the middle of the eye.

The boy later told the specialists that he had been playing with a green laser pointer and had chose to look into the beam.

Over in the United States, laser pointers with over five milliwatts of power are restricted by the Food and Drug Administration, though Androudi warned that these restrictions aren't consistently enforced, thus making powerful, intense pointers available for online purchase without any hitches.

Many countries have limited the sale of laser devices, and they should not have more than 1mW of power.

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