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Hand-held Laser Pointers Pose Risk of Eye Injury

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The FDA recently issued a statement warning consumers about the risk of eye injury associated with exposure to hand-held laser pointers.

Often, hand-held laser pointers are misused as toys. The FDA has placed a limit on the visible light power of laser pointers to 5 milliwatts. What many consumers don’t realize is, even at 5 milliwatts, aiming a laser pointer into the eye can cause injury such as, temporary flash blindness. Other instances of injury occur when the laser beam reflects off of mirrors or metallic surfaces.

Premier Medical’s Dr. Stuart Ball shared his thoughts on the subject, adding, “The risk is real. Several patients have had permanent vision loss, meaning their vision will never be as good as it was before glancing/staring into these lights.”

Dr. Ball also reminded parents of the eye risk in toys with lasers, saying, “A very helpful indicator is that if the laser needs real power, like AA or AAA batteries, then it is almost certainly too strong for kids.”

It is important to remember that hand-held laser pointers are not toys. The best way to avoid eye injury is to not use laser pointers. If you are having eye problems due to exposure from a hand-held laser pointer, please contact Premier Medical.

To read the FDA’s full article click here.

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