Can Laser Pointers Hurt Your Eyes?

You see it crop up from time to time in news segments; whether by accidental or malicious misuse, someone sustained eye damage due to an encounter with a laser pointer.

Will Laser Pointers Damage My Eyes?

Can Laser Pointers Hurt Your EyesMaybe you’ve heard of someone suffering permanent eye damage because of a laser pointer, and you’re not sure if it was an accurate report, a real event exaggerated in the telling, or simply an urban myth. Can it really happen, can laser pointers hurt your eyes?

The answer is yes. Under certain circumstances and with certain laser pointers, retinal damage is very possible. That’s why laser pointers have been assigned warning labels that are required by law to stipulate their power ratings. Lasers excite and concentrate light particles into a tight beam. If shined in the eye, the eye will focus this beam in a very small area of the retina, causing a burn and damage of the retina resulting in a blind spot. This is the same retinal-damage danger posed when one views an eclipse without proper eye protection.

So, if the eye comes into contact with a powerful enough laser – or a less powerful laser for a longer period of time – eye injury occurs. In cases of very moderate contact victims report seeing “spots” before their eyes for a period of time. This is the same overexposure-to-light effect that you’ve probably experienced if you’ve ever looked toward the sun on clear day or looked into a bright camera flash. Typically the symptoms dissipate over time and no permanent damage is done.

If, however, direct eye exposure to a laser pointer is prolonged or the laser is high-powered, more permanent damage to the retina is likely. In the U.S., laser pointers are required to feature warning labels that clearly identify their power level. Pointers over a certain rating are designed for specific tasks and are not supposed to be sold to minors or used haphazardly – but pointers with altered labels, knock-offs available cheaply and without restriction via internet sales, and unregulated laser pointers from outside the U.S. are all fairly common and all pose a danger to eye safety.

The FDA stipulates the following laser pointer guidelines, which indicate the danger of laser pointer misuse:

  • Never aim or shine a laser pointer at anyone.
  • Only activate the laser pointer when you are using it to point at a nearby object.
  • Do not buy laser pointers for your children. Lasers are not toys.
  • Before purchasing a laser pointer, make sure it has the following information on the label:
    • a statement that it complies with Chapter 21 CFR (the Code of Federal Regulations)
    • the manufacturer’s or distributor’s name and the date of manufacture
    • a warning to avoid exposure to laser radiation
    • the class designation, ranging from Class I to Class IIIa. Class IIIb and IV products should be used only by individuals with proper training and in applications where there is a legitimate need for these high-powered products.

Shop Laser Safety GogglesIf you use a laser pointer or risk exposure to one in your work, school, or home routine, protect yourself with an appropriate pair of laser glasses or goggles.

One Response to Can Laser Pointers Hurt Your Eyes?
  1. [...] the danger they pose to the eye, either by accidental contact or malicious activity, is as present today as [...]

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Can Laser Pointers Hurt Your Eyes?

You see it crop up from time to time in news segments; whether by accidental or malicious misuse, someone sustained eye damage due to an encounter with a laser pointer.

Will Laser Pointers Damage My Eyes?

Can Laser Pointers Hurt Your EyesMaybe you’ve heard of someone suffering permanent eye damage because of a laser pointer, and you’re not sure if it was an accurate report, a real event exaggerated in the telling, or simply an urban myth. Can it really happen, can laser pointers hurt your eyes?

The answer is yes. Under certain circumstances and with certain laser pointers, retinal damage is very possible. That’s why laser pointers have been assigned warning labels that are required by law to stipulate their power ratings. Lasers excite and concentrate light particles into a tight beam. If shined in the eye, the eye will focus this beam in a very small area of the retina, causing a burn and damage of the retina resulting in a blind spot. This is the same retinal-damage danger posed when one views an eclipse without proper eye protection.

So, if the eye comes into contact with a powerful enough laser – or a less powerful laser for a longer period of time – eye injury occurs. In cases of very moderate contact victims report seeing “spots” before their eyes for a period of time. This is the same overexposure-to-light effect that you’ve probably experienced if you’ve ever looked toward the sun on clear day or looked into a bright camera flash. Typically the symptoms dissipate over time and no permanent damage is done.

If, however, direct eye exposure to a laser pointer is prolonged or the laser is high-powered, more permanent damage to the retina is likely. In the U.S., laser pointers are required to feature warning labels that clearly identify their power level. Pointers over a certain rating are designed for specific tasks and are not supposed to be sold to minors or used haphazardly – but pointers with altered labels, knock-offs available cheaply and without restriction via internet sales, and unregulated laser pointers from outside the U.S. are all fairly common and all pose a danger to eye safety.

The FDA stipulates the following laser pointer guidelines, which indicate the danger of laser pointer misuse:

  • Never aim or shine a laser pointer at anyone.
  • Only activate the laser pointer when you are using it to point at a nearby object.
  • Do not buy laser pointers for your children. Lasers are not toys.
  • Before purchasing a laser pointer, make sure it has the following information on the label:
    • a statement that it complies with Chapter 21 CFR (the Code of Federal Regulations)
    • the manufacturer’s or distributor’s name and the date of manufacture
    • a warning to avoid exposure to laser radiation
    • the class designation, ranging from Class I to Class IIIa. Class IIIb and IV products should be used only by individuals with proper training and in applications where there is a legitimate need for these high-powered products.

Shop Laser Safety GogglesIf you use a laser pointer or risk exposure to one in your work, school, or home routine, protect yourself with an appropriate pair of laser glasses or goggles.

One Response to Can Laser Pointers Hurt Your Eyes?
  1. [...] the danger they pose to the eye, either by accidental contact or malicious activity, is as present today as [...]

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Trackback URL http://lasersafetygoggles.com/can-laser-pointers-hurt-your-eyes/trackback/

Can Laser Pointers Hurt Your Eyes?

You see it crop up from time to time in news segments; whether by accidental or malicious misuse, someone sustained eye damage due to an encounter with a laser pointer.

Will Laser Pointers Damage My Eyes?

Can Laser Pointers Hurt Your EyesMaybe you’ve heard of someone suffering permanent eye damage because of a laser pointer, and you’re not sure if it was an accurate report, a real event exaggerated in the telling, or simply an urban myth. Can it really happen, can laser pointers hurt your eyes?

The answer is yes. Under certain circumstances and with certain laser pointers, retinal damage is very possible. That’s why laser pointers have been assigned warning labels that are required by law to stipulate their power ratings. Lasers excite and concentrate light particles into a tight beam. If shined in the eye, the eye will focus this beam in a very small area of the retina, causing a burn and damage of the retina resulting in a blind spot. This is the same retinal-damage danger posed when one views an eclipse without proper eye protection.

So, if the eye comes into contact with a powerful enough laser – or a less powerful laser for a longer period of time – eye injury occurs. In cases of very moderate contact victims report seeing “spots” before their eyes for a period of time. This is the same overexposure-to-light effect that you’ve probably experienced if you’ve ever looked toward the sun on clear day or looked into a bright camera flash. Typically the symptoms dissipate over time and no permanent damage is done.

If, however, direct eye exposure to a laser pointer is prolonged or the laser is high-powered, more permanent damage to the retina is likely. In the U.S., laser pointers are required to feature warning labels that clearly identify their power level. Pointers over a certain rating are designed for specific tasks and are not supposed to be sold to minors or used haphazardly – but pointers with altered labels, knock-offs available cheaply and without restriction via internet sales, and unregulated laser pointers from outside the U.S. are all fairly common and all pose a danger to eye safety.

The FDA stipulates the following laser pointer guidelines, which indicate the danger of laser pointer misuse:

  • Never aim or shine a laser pointer at anyone.
  • Only activate the laser pointer when you are using it to point at a nearby object.
  • Do not buy laser pointers for your children. Lasers are not toys.
  • Before purchasing a laser pointer, make sure it has the following information on the label:
    • a statement that it complies with Chapter 21 CFR (the Code of Federal Regulations)
    • the manufacturer’s or distributor’s name and the date of manufacture
    • a warning to avoid exposure to laser radiation
    • the class designation, ranging from Class I to Class IIIa. Class IIIb and IV products should be used only by individuals with proper training and in applications where there is a legitimate need for these high-powered products.

Shop Laser Safety GogglesIf you use a laser pointer or risk exposure to one in your work, school, or home routine, protect yourself with an appropriate pair of laser glasses or goggles.

One Response to Can Laser Pointers Hurt Your Eyes?
  1. [...] the danger they pose to the eye, either by accidental contact or malicious activity, is as present today as [...]

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Trackback URL http://lasersafetygoggles.com/can-laser-pointers-hurt-your-eyes/trackback/

Can Laser Pointers Hurt Your Eyes?

You see it crop up from time to time in news segments; whether by accidental or malicious misuse, someone sustained eye damage due to an encounter with a laser pointer.

Will Laser Pointers Damage My Eyes?

Can Laser Pointers Hurt Your EyesMaybe you’ve heard of someone suffering permanent eye damage because of a laser pointer, and you’re not sure if it was an accurate report, a real event exaggerated in the telling, or simply an urban myth. Can it really happen, can laser pointers hurt your eyes?

The answer is yes. Under certain circumstances and with certain laser pointers, retinal damage is very possible. That’s why laser pointers have been assigned warning labels that are required by law to stipulate their power ratings. Lasers excite and concentrate light particles into a tight beam. If shined in the eye, the eye will focus this beam in a very small area of the retina, causing a burn and damage of the retina resulting in a blind spot. This is the same retinal-damage danger posed when one views an eclipse without proper eye protection.

So, if the eye comes into contact with a powerful enough laser – or a less powerful laser for a longer period of time – eye injury occurs. In cases of very moderate contact victims report seeing “spots” before their eyes for a period of time. This is the same overexposure-to-light effect that you’ve probably experienced if you’ve ever looked toward the sun on clear day or looked into a bright camera flash. Typically the symptoms dissipate over time and no permanent damage is done.

If, however, direct eye exposure to a laser pointer is prolonged or the laser is high-powered, more permanent damage to the retina is likely. In the U.S., laser pointers are required to feature warning labels that clearly identify their power level. Pointers over a certain rating are designed for specific tasks and are not supposed to be sold to minors or used haphazardly – but pointers with altered labels, knock-offs available cheaply and without restriction via internet sales, and unregulated laser pointers from outside the U.S. are all fairly common and all pose a danger to eye safety.

The FDA stipulates the following laser pointer guidelines, which indicate the danger of laser pointer misuse:

  • Never aim or shine a laser pointer at anyone.
  • Only activate the laser pointer when you are using it to point at a nearby object.
  • Do not buy laser pointers for your children. Lasers are not toys.
  • Before purchasing a laser pointer, make sure it has the following information on the label:
    • a statement that it complies with Chapter 21 CFR (the Code of Federal Regulations)
    • the manufacturer’s or distributor’s name and the date of manufacture
    • a warning to avoid exposure to laser radiation
    • the class designation, ranging from Class I to Class IIIa. Class IIIb and IV products should be used only by individuals with proper training and in applications where there is a legitimate need for these high-powered products.

Shop Laser Safety GogglesIf you use a laser pointer or risk exposure to one in your work, school, or home routine, protect yourself with an appropriate pair of laser glasses or goggles.

One Response to Can Laser Pointers Hurt Your Eyes?
  1. [...] the danger they pose to the eye, either by accidental contact or malicious activity, is as present today as [...]

Leave a Reply

Wanting to leave an <em>phasis on your comment?

Trackback URL http://lasersafetygoggles.com/can-laser-pointers-hurt-your-eyes/trackback/