The information contained on this site is for
general health information only. It is not medical advice. Never substitute any
information or advice from the internet for bona fide health care. You should
consult with your health care provider before undertaking any action on the
Internet. We do not warrant, represent, or endorse the accuracy or reliability
of any information, products, advertisements, or links downloaded or accessed
from this website.
Diagnosis and Treatment of
Laser Eye Injuries
Since their introduction in the mid 1950s,
lasers have become ubiquitous in modern society. Laser is an acronym
standing for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission
of Radiation. Lasers are an inescapable part of modern technology.
Lasers are commonly used for civilian, military, and industrial purposes
including distance measuring, welding, data storage and retrieval among others.
In fact, the computers you are currently using almost certainly have a laser in
the attached CD-ROM device. Low powered laser (class III) devices are some of
the most commonly encountered in the form of check-out price sensors, bar code
readers, DVD players, and laser pointers.
With their increasing use in everyday activities many safety questions continue
to be raised. Prevention of laser injuries through an aggressive laser safety
program is the best medicine. Fortunately, laser injuries appear to be fairly
rare. When laser accidents occur, the eye and ocular structure are among the
most frequent sites reported as injured.
Information on laser injuries is accumulating and databases are being
developed that may give a better idea of the true extent of this problem. One
excellent laser site is Rockwell Laser Industries
® has a very good confidential laser injury reporting form as well as many
outstanding links on lasers and laser related safety information.
Unfortunately, there are few medical resources available outside the
military for the diagnosis and treatment of acute and chronic laser eye
injuries. In addition, treatment for laser eye injuries is controversial.
Current treatment options include IV and Oral corticosteroids, oral
nonsteroidal agents, surgical interventions including vitrectomy and membrane
peeling and traditional Chinese medicine. Most reports of both treatment and
outcomes are anecdotal. Still, aggressive early intervention appears to be
associated with better resultant final visual function.