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Thread: Caught an eyefull of an ?? 8 ?? milliwatt laser

  1. #1

    Default Caught an eyefull of an ?? 8 ?? milliwatt laser

    I was at a night club and there was a problem with one of the lasers - came down into the crowd on the dancefloor and I caught a fairly good eyefull of an 8 milliwatt green laser. Don't know the exact frequency, but that general electric-green that you see.

    I don't appear to have any vision impairment, but that eye really does feel a little funny....

    Any laser experts able to offer advice? Where am I at? Any eye damage?

    [[ Addenda: the beam was abou 1mm thick, and **clearly** visible through free space in the night club environment - really bright visible beam in the air, which was admittedly fairly smoky]]

  2. #2
    *Retired* The_LED_Museum's Avatar
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    Default Re: Caught an eyefull of an 8 milliwatt laser

    The wavelength was most likely 532nm if it was a DPSS laser, or 514nm if it was the green line of an argon ion laser.

    Eye damage? Almost certainly not, unless you looked directly into the laser beam and let it cook there for awhile.

    The "funny feeling" in your eye is probably psychosomatic in nature, and is not the result of being irradiated.

    But I'm not an opthalmologist, and I don't play one on TV or on the internet, so please take my "diagnosis" with plenty of crystallised sodium chloride (plenty of grains of salt).

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    Flashaholic* Lasernerd's Avatar
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    Default Re: Caught an eyefull of an 8 milliwatt laser

    The LED Museum Craig is right on the money.

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    Flashaholic* hank's Avatar
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    Default Re: Caught an eyefull of an 8 milliwatt laser

    If you are not already accustomed to having your eyes checked by a real eye doctor -- not just an eyeglasses store -- you should make this a routine every year or two. This would be a good time to start.

    If there is an optometry or opthalmology school near you at, for example, a state university system, they will offer the service; students see you first but a doctor also does examine each person, and the cost is very low.

    It may take something odd happening for you to notice your eyesight is changing, but most things that cause vision loss aren't noticed -- at all -- unless by an eye doctor.

    That means someone who has a medical degree, who can dilate your eyes, and who can check the pressure in the eyeball (done now with a little puff of air in a little microscope-like viewer that measures how flexible your eyeball is -- no contact required any more for that glaucoma test).

    There are plenty of things that you won't feel that will lose you your ability to see, if not caught by a routine examination; glaucoma is the classic one, which a routine eye doctor check will find.

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    *Flashaholic* James S's Avatar
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    Default Re: Caught an eyefull of an 8 milliwatt laser

    hank is on top of this [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img] Important to go to a doc and get a baseline. It's virtually impossible except in really large trauma events, to tell if an injury is something that just happened or been growing slowly over time. You need a baseline so that future exams can compare against it. That will catch slow moving, but just as deadly to your eyesight problem.

    I just did this for myself as I was starting to see some artifacts that were a bit alarming to me. turns out to be nothing but a common and harmless crystallization of some proteins in there, but it was a great relief to learn that for sure. He did also warn me about a just barely noticeable start of some macular degeneration too. Always wear sunglasses when out in the sun! I do now, and it's not getting any worse. (but make sure your sunglasses block UV or it will just make things worse.)

  6. #6

    Default Re: Caught an eyefull of an 8 milliwatt laser

    Thanks for the advice, guys. I'm going to get a check up today.

    I have another question, though. The laser I got hit by was *very*clearly* visible in the naked air - a 1mm thick bright green beam, very solid-looking, and when it ht a reflective surface like somebody's clothing, it would produce very bright "halos".

    Does that sound about righ for 8mw?

    I ask because I woke up this morning with a clear and distinct after-image in one eye. It's not causing me any visual problems, but on the other hand, I know how brilliant the eye's in-betweening software is...

    Anyway, I'll know more when I've had the check up. **very** disturbing, though.

  7. #7
    Flashaholic* Lasernerd's Avatar
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    Default Re: Caught an eyefull of an 8 milliwatt laser

    To me, that sounds more powerfull than 8mw`s???
    could you contact that club and see what they were using?
    maybe show interest in the units?

  8. #8

    Default Re: Caught an eyefull of an 8 milliwatt laser

    Rats. I was pretty angry at the time, so I wonder if when I asked them, they lied and said "8 mw." I don't know.

    I'm going to write to the mgmt, see if I can't get some accurate information.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Caught an eyefull of an 8 milliwatt laser

    8mW is just a strong laser pointer.........

    The club often use 80-180mW depending on the size of the club !

  10. #10

    Default Re: Caught an eyefull of an 8 milliwatt laser

    Uhoh.

    The unit I got hit by was mounted on a small mobile stand and looked fairly large - a tube perhaps one inch by three or four. It looked like a small club laser - not just a point on the wall, but a clear, highly visible beam.

  11. #11
    Enlightened
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    Default Re: Caught an eyefull of an 8 milliwatt laser

    I ask because I woke up this morning with a clear and distinct after-image in one eye. It's not causing me any visual problems ...

    -=-=-=-==-=-=-=-=-

    Was the "after image" red?

    [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/cool.gif[/img]

  12. #12
    *Flashaholic* PhotonWrangler's Avatar
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    Default Re: Caught an eyefull of an 8 milliwatt laser

    Let us know how the eye checkup went.

    I accidentally zapped myself with an NIR laser once. I felt a stinging sensation in my left eye and it rattled me enough that I shut everything down and went home. The next morning I made an appointment with my opthamologist. Luckily there was no damage.

  13. #13
    Flashaholic* NikolaTesla's Avatar
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    Default Re: Caught an eyefull of an 8 milliwatt laser

    Get an Eye exam from a doctor. Sounds like you got hit with a 150 Mw beam or more if that thick. You may need a lawyer to file a complaint if the symptoms don't go away. That type of power needs to be scanning and NOT directed into crowd directly. Also the club will deny then deny then deny everything and will never cooperate or admit fault or tell real facts about LASER in use at time. I have been in the sound and light production business previuosly. We used a 300 mw unit which I turned down to 150 Mw because it seemed plenty bright for a club sized scanned projection on ceiling NEVER EVER projected at crowd. Hope it gets better because you only get one set of eyes. Good luck.

    NikolaTesla

  14. #14

    Default Re: Caught an eyefull of an 8 milliwatt laser

    i did get a white spot on my eye after zapped from a mirror with my 50-80mW leadlight !
    But the white tiny spot did go away after 3 days ......

  15. #15

    Default Update: No retinal damage! Woot!

    Went for the eye check up, and there's no visible retinal damage. The afterimage seems to be clearing up too!

    Thank you all so much for the advice and the concern - it was really good to get good, clear, solid opinions from people I trusted to know what they were talking about.

    You guys rock!

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