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Thread: Update to my case posted in "Damaged eyes?" sticky thread - 6 years later

  1. #1

    Default Update to my case posted in "Damaged eyes?" sticky thread - 6 years later

    I came across my account here and am glad that thread was stickied. Excuse my immaturity at the time

    6.5 years after the ~0.5 sec direct exposure @ 6 inches from a very cheap "200mW" green laser pointer that likely emitted mostly IR, I am effectively, in every practical way 100% healed. Immediately after exposure, the size of the spot of totally occluded vision was the size of a pencil eraser when viewed at 12-15 inches. In other words, it would block upwards of half or even a whole word on a computer screen or page when viewed at a normal distance. A few months later, vision is entirely restored with no residual impediment, and 3-4 weeks after the initial exposure, most vision had returned.

    But, still today, approximately only once a week, I will notice the tiniest visual distortion, for just a few seconds, that will remind me that there is probably a little cluster of residual damage. It is nothing bad whatsoever. It will appear that literally just the corner of a piece of dust on the desk will seem to scintillate black and white but after I notice this, it is normal again. I can see the entire speck but there would be just this tiny aberration present. The size again is smaller than a single pixel on a computer screen, when it is noticeable. After I stop trying to look for it, it disappears and often I can't find it even if I look for it. I am able to clearly see a single pixel on the screen (you can test this by going to Paint or your drawing program and using the pencil tool to place a single tiny dot of red, green, or blue onto an image.)

    This tiny reminder helps me a lot as I continue to work with much more powerful machines at more harmful wavelengths. If I had not myself experienced how absolutely-for-granted we take normal vision, I would now not be as careful with lasers as I would be with a gun - there are similar lifelong repercussions here. This stupid mistake would have happened with a much more powerful unit and I would be out an eye.

    I hope that reading these posts allows you to imagine for yourself and experience how absolutely inhibiting to normal life even a small visual impediment would be. If you were forever missing a pencil eraser sized spot right in the center of your vision, you might even not be able to drive safely, forever. I was just the passenger in a car and I couldn't tell for certain the name of a street on the street sign until I would be too close to lane-change to turn the corner.

    You MUST be extremely careful with your lasers. I KNOW some of you leave them laying on your desk with batteries inside. Imagine someone in your home invites friends with their kids and they come sneaking into your space, pick up your laser and ruin their vision forever until they can afford a bionic eye. Jokes aside, take the fricken batteries out of that 1W blue that's just laying there out in the open, or lock and put it away. Someone's guilty of leaving insecure lasers out and I saw this myself once. It's like a loaded gun that only destroys eyes, and it's constantly emitting an infinite stream of totally silent bullets that go the speed of light and bounce off of shiny surfaces.

    If you get laser eye damage, immediately visit your doctor and get a referral to an ophthalmologist, IMMEDIATELY. Make it clear to your doctor that it cannot wait, this is your career, and you know there are medications and steps to take with the ophthalmologist that are TIME CRITICAL so your vision returns to normal - be honest and say what it takes to get seem immediately. Three days I waited not having any idea that a doctor can help interject serious eye damage, and I am sure this stupidity contributed to the lasting effect (which I am glad there is near-zero of now). I thank all members contributing to the thread and the ones that that replied quickly and gave the seemingly obvious advice to visit a doctor.

    ****
    Disclaimer: The following is not medical advice and doesn't replace your doctor's advice. Because not every ophthalmologist/doctor may recognize all interjectable aspects of any particular situation, bring up these ideas with them. Don't be worried to speak to your doctor and ask about something if you think it is right, and talk about other cases you've seen:

    It may be the case that the body's natural inflammation response to the eye damage as it tries to heal, can be as much or more of a contributor to lasting effects than the laser burn itself. For this it might be very beneficial that there is anti-inflammatory activity at the damage site. In my case, prescription corticosteroids were given. Ask the doctor if this is right for your case.

    Furthermore, scarring during and after healing is counterproductive. Fat-soluble antioxidants/vitamins including vitamin E and vitamin A, as well as water soluble antioxidant/vitamins such as vitamin C are highly important to support clean healing with minimal residual damage. It is true that many doctors and even an ophthalmologist may not recognize the huge contribution that simple vitamin E can play in long-term prognosis of eye damage, so do take advice from a naturopath regarding the food/vitamin sources that can assist with this. Some good advice was given in the thread regarding what vitamins/supplements will help, but again this doesn't replace doctor advice. Cod liver oil is a great idea for this (don't take more than the normal recommended amount), and even replacing your normal vegetable oil with olive oil has shown to clear up, soften and heal tissue faster. Almonds/nuts are a good source of cofactor minerals and these beneficial fats and vitamins. It may sound insignificant but these dietary contributions actually provide significant healing quality and capability to this specific case. You must do everything you can in a situation where you have only once chance to permanently define the outcome of an event like this.

    ****

    Hopefully this post can be added to the sticky and not lost on the board. The sticky thread's clarity is VERY important and perhaps it should be edited a little to take out anything off-topic or any bad advice. I'm sure if a person could, they'd pay a million bucks to have their vision back after a stupid accident. If it saves one person, the entire website was worth it. EDIT: I just checked and the sticky has 65,000 views. I'd appreciate if a mod contacted me regarding some of it's content.

    All the best and happy lasing!
    Last edited by k00zk0; 01-17-2014 at 06:33 AM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Update to my case posted in "Damaged eyes?" sticky thread - 6 years later

    If you recovered from an injury caused by a 200mW laser, you are extremely lucky. There are reports of permanent vision loss from lasers much less powerful than that.

    Infrared from green lasers seems to be less common nowadays. All of the cheap green lasers that I've bought recently had IR filters. These are AAA battery powered 532nm lasers that output 20-40 mW, and are widely available online. It may be possible to dislodge the IR filter if the laser is dropped or damaged, but I haven't seen it happen.

    Injuries from green lasers tend to be different from red or infrared wavelengths. The human retina is mostly transparent to red and infrared light. This is why you see a "red eye" effect from a camera flash. Blue or green lasers tend to burn the retina. Red lasers will burn the choroid under the retina. If you only lost vision in a spot the size of a pencil eraser, you likely had a burn from the green light rather than infrared light.

    I had an injury from a 650nm (red) laser which was around 60-80 mW. I hardly noticed when I did it, and did not immediately seek medical attention. The laser did not damage the retina, the injury came from the exudative retinal detachment a few hours later. The initial spot was about the size of a pencil eraser but it got much bigger. I'm not sure if corticosteroids would have prevented the swelling which led to the detached retina.

    By the time I realized what had happened (several days later) the retina had already reattached, but my vision was messed up for months afterwards. Vision started to return after about 10 days, but had the characteristic blue-yellow color defect which is due to lack of oxygen to the retina. It took about 6 weeks for color perception to return to normal, but I still had light sensitivity issues. It's been about 3 months now, and I can see mostly normally but I still get some excessive afterimages in that eye which are a bit distracting. This is due to the inflammatory response.

    I don't know if vitamins would have helped. Vitamin A is needed to make rhodopsin, but I didn't eat anything special and the cone cells recovered after about 6 weeks. There wasn't much damage to the rod cells. My night vision was fine after a couple weeks.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Update to my case posted in "Damaged eyes?" sticky thread - 6 years later

    Quote Originally Posted by Arilou View Post
    If you recovered from an injury caused by a 200mW laser, you are extremely lucky. There are reports of permanent vision loss from lasers much less powerful than that.
    As I recall it was a cheap (for that time) "200mW" laser pointer from an unknown manufacturer so that 200mW was probably "somewhat" overrated. Back then cheap 200mW no-brand lasers were probably something like 20mW (if even that).
    But glad to hear you've completely recoverd k00zk0!

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Update to my case posted in "Damaged eyes?" sticky thread - 6 years later

    Where the laser strikes, and the wavelength/wattages/range, as described, do make a large difference in the damage. Some people lose sight entirely, and never get it back, other have irritation and lose no sight at all, etc. Not having laser protective goggles of the correct wavelength(s) is always a mistake. Even if you don't accidentally aim it at your eye (Or someone else's), the beam can reflect off of something and ricochet back to an eye and do serious harm, such as playing the laser along a wall and crossing a shiny metal switch plate, etc...and WHAM.

    For some instances, the "Wham" is not FELT...the damage is done w/o you even knowing it. Its only later when the pain or symptoms arise that the damage becomes evident....those are deviously dangerous, as you might be driving home later when the problems arrive, etc.

    There's nothing like trading 20/20 Sight, for 20/20 Hindsight.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Update to my case posted in "Damaged eyes?" sticky thread - 6 years later

    Quote Originally Posted by TEEJ View Post
    Where the laser strikes, and the wavelength/wattages/range, as described, do make a large difference in the damage. Some people lose sight entirely, and never get it back, other have irritation and lose no sight at all, etc. Not having laser protective goggles of the correct wavelength(s) is always a mistake. Even if you don't accidentally aim it at your eye (Or someone else's), the beam can reflect off of something and ricochet back to an eye and do serious harm, such as playing the laser along a wall and crossing a shiny metal switch plate, etc...and WHAM.

    For some instances, the "Wham" is not FELT...the damage is done w/o you even knowing it. Its only later when the pain or symptoms arise that the damage becomes evident....those are deviously dangerous, as you might be driving home later when the problems arrive, etc.

    There's nothing like trading 20/20 Sight, for 20/20 Hindsight.
    I Got tired of looking for the light at the end of the tunnel so i lit that bitch up myself! Convoy s2 365nm, Maxa-Beam Gen II, 55w hid/100w incan Vector Twin, Amondotech n30, vss-3A, Reylight Ti Lan v3, Helius Sigma 9, astrolux s41 219, Shadow JM35, BLF GT,

  6. #6

    Default Re: Update to my case posted in "Damaged eyes?" sticky thread - 6 years later

    wow... ALL these reminders just to show how frail humans really are! That does not sound fun. I will definitely think twice about getting any lasers even under 5mw now! thank you so much for the warning!

  7. #7

    Default Re: Update to my case posted in "Damaged eyes?" sticky thread - 6 years later

    Quote Originally Posted by likevvii View Post
    wow... ALL these reminders just to show how frail humans really are! That does not sound fun. I will definitely think twice about getting any lasers even under 5mw now! thank you so much for the warning!
    humans aren't frail...that's why we had to invent bullets and tmack lasers
    a single sunbeam is enough to drive away many shadows- St. Francis of Assissi

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Update to my case posted in "Damaged eyes?" sticky thread - 6 years later

    Humans aren't frail, that's why we had to invent bullets and tmack lasers.
    What a stupid comment to make.

    It might take a lot to kill a human who's otherwise in peak physical fitness, but anyone who has ever had a scar knows it doesn't take much to cause permanent injury. Trust me, your retina is one place you DON'T want to have a scar.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Update to my case posted in "Damaged eyes?" sticky thread - 6 years later

    Quote Originally Posted by k00zk0 View Post
    But, still today, approximately only once a week, I will notice the tiniest visual distortion, for just a few seconds, that will remind me that there is probably a little cluster of residual damage.
    I'm not a neurologist, but I do find certain aspects of neurology interesting. To me, it sounds like in fact, the physical damage may not have recovered much. I do not know if retinal cones can regrow. However, the brain has a high degree of plasticity, meaning that if it encounters something not right, it will try to correct it "in the software" as best it can. This why you can see using your tongue. It is very likely that you now have a second blind spot (everyone has one blind spot where the optic nerve meets the retina) and, just as we don't notice that first blind spot, your brain has probably filled in the gap for you so you don't usually notice the second one either, even though it's still there.

    Have you done a blind spot test to see if this is the case? This was the best test I could find online, but I'm not sure if it would be sensitive enough to differentiate between two blind spots on different parts of the retina, especially if one of them is much smaller than the other (it's not really what these tests are designed for). You mentioned looking for a single pixel in paint, but for this test to work, you need to have one point to focus on and another point that should disappear (which won't work if there's a regular pattern, because your brain will fill in the gap correctly - that includes the Amsler grid that is used to spot macular degeneration; they don't detect normal blind spots). This gets around the problem you've already noticed, which is that if you try to focus on the defect, it just disappears because your eyes move. You could probably reproduce this test yourself in paint, with a smaller dot and a larger grid of letters/numbers to stare at. That might improve the accuracy a bit, although you'd need to be careful to make sure that the size of the dot matches the spacing between the letters in the grid. If the spot is too small, you might miss the blind spot; if it's too large, the brain will fill in the gap correctly and it won't disappear.

  10. #10

    Exclamation Re: Update to my case posted in "Damaged eyes?" sticky thread - 6 years later

    es, be very careful with lasers. I have a 2watt 405nm blue violet laser, and the beam reflected from a flat salmon colored wall, is devastatingly bright. This is of great concern, because this wavelength (UV is anything less than 400nm) is practically invisible! I bought several pairs of safety goggles, and even the "cheapy" ones do a great job of blocking the harmful rays. (just be sure to choose the correct wavelength for your particular laser!)

  11. #11

    Default Re: Update to my case posted in "Damaged eyes?" sticky thread - 6 years later

    Quote Originally Posted by k00zk0 View Post
    I came across my account here and am glad that thread was stickied. Excuse my immaturity at the time

    6.5 years after the ~0.5 sec direct exposure @ 6 inches from a very cheap "200mW" green laser pointer that likely emitted mostly IR, I am effectively, in every practical way 100% healed. Immediately after exposure, the size of the spot of totally occluded vision was the size of a pencil eraser when viewed at 12-15 inches. In other words, it would block upwards of half or even a whole word on a computer screen or page when viewed at a normal distance. A few months later, vision is entirely restored with no residual impediment, and 3-4 weeks after the initial exposure, most vision had returned.

    But, still today, approximately only once a week, I will notice the tiniest visual distortion, for just a few seconds, that will remind me that there is probably a little cluster of residual damage. It is nothing bad whatsoever. It will appear that literally just the corner of a piece of dust on the desk will seem to scintillate black and white but after I notice this, it is normal again. I can see the entire speck but there would be just this tiny aberration present. The size again is smaller than a single pixel on a computer screen, when it is noticeable. After I stop trying to look for it, it disappears and often I can't find it even if I look for it. I am able to clearly see a single pixel on the screen (you can test this by going to Paint or your drawing program and using the pencil tool to place a single tiny dot of red, green, or blue onto an image.)

    This tiny reminder helps me a lot as I continue to work with much more powerful machines at more harmful wavelengths. If I had not myself experienced how absolutely-for-granted we take normal vision, I would now not be as careful with lasers as I would be with a gun - there are similar lifelong repercussions here. This stupid mistake would have happened with a much more powerful unit and I would be out an eye.

    I hope that reading these posts allows you to imagine for yourself and experience how absolutely inhibiting to normal life even a small visual impediment would be. If you were forever missing a pencil eraser sized spot right in the center of your vision, you might even not be able to drive safely, forever. I was just the passenger in a car and I couldn't tell for certain the name of a street on the street sign until I would be too close to lane-change to turn the corner.

    You MUST be extremely careful with your lasers. I KNOW some of you leave them laying on your desk with batteries inside. Imagine someone in your home invites friends with their kids and they come sneaking into your space, pick up your laser and ruin their vision forever until they can afford a bionic eye. Jokes aside, take the fricken batteries out of that 1W blue that's just laying there out in the open, or lock and put it away. Someone's guilty of leaving insecure lasers out and I saw this myself once. It's like a loaded gun that only destroys eyes, and it's constantly emitting an infinite stream of totally silent bullets that go the speed of light and bounce off of shiny surfaces.

    If you get laser eye damage, immediately visit your doctor and get a referral to an ophthalmologist, IMMEDIATELY. Make it clear to your doctor that it cannot wait, this is your career, and you know there are medications and steps to take with the ophthalmologist that are TIME CRITICAL so your vision returns to normal - be honest and say what it takes to get seem immediately. Three days I waited not having any idea that a doctor can help interject serious eye damage, and I am sure this stupidity contributed to the lasting effect (which I am glad there is near-zero of now). I thank all members contributing to the thread and the ones that that replied quickly and gave the seemingly obvious advice to visit a doctor.

    ****
    Disclaimer: The following is not medical advice and doesn't replace your doctor's advice. Because not every ophthalmologist/doctor may recognize all interjectable aspects of any particular situation, bring up these ideas with them. Don't be worried to speak to your doctor and ask about something if you think it is right, and talk about other cases you've seen:

    It may be the case that the body's natural inflammation response to the eye damage as it tries to heal, can be as much or more of a contributor to lasting effects than the laser burn itself. For this it might be very beneficial that there is anti-inflammatory activity at the damage site. In my case, prescription corticosteroids were given. Ask the doctor if this is right for your case.

    Furthermore, scarring during and after healing is counterproductive. Fat-soluble antioxidants/vitamins including vitamin E and vitamin A, as well as water soluble antioxidant/vitamins such as vitamin C are highly important to support clean healing with minimal residual damage. It is true that many doctors and even an ophthalmologist may not recognize the huge contribution that simple vitamin E can play in long-term prognosis of eye damage, so do take advice from a naturopath regarding the food/vitamin sources that can assist with this. Some good advice was given in the thread regarding what vitamins/supplements will help, but again this doesn't replace doctor advice. Cod liver oil is a great idea for this (don't take more than the normal recommended amount), and even replacing your normal vegetable oil with olive oil has shown to clear up, soften and heal tissue faster. Almonds/nuts are a good source of cofactor minerals and these beneficial fats and vitamins. It may sound insignificant but these dietary contributions actually provide significant healing quality and capability to this specific case. You must do everything you can in a situation where you have only once chance to permanently define the outcome of an event like this.

    ****

    Hopefully this post can be added to the sticky and not lost on the board. The sticky thread's clarity is VERY important and perhaps it should be edited a little to take out anything off-topic or any bad advice. I'm sure if a person could, they'd pay a million bucks to have their vision back after a stupid accident. If it saves one person, the entire website was worth it. EDIT: I just checked and the sticky has 65,000 views. I'd appreciate if a mod contacted me regarding some of it's content.

    All the best and happy lasing!

    You are extremely lucky to be recovered from the damage.

    I think this website is doing everyone a favor to make this topic sticky.

    It is extremely important for anyone with a cheap laser to keep it away from kids.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Update to my case posted in "Damaged eyes?" sticky thread - 6 years later

    I came here to look for a nice laser to purchase and now I'm thinking I'll just stick with flashlights...

    -Wall

  13. #13

    Default Re: Update to my case posted in "Damaged eyes?" sticky thread - 6 years later

    Quote Originally Posted by WALLtech View Post
    I came here to look for a nice laser to purchase and now I'm thinking I'll just stick with flashlights...

    -Wall
    Well, if you get some safety glasses, you'll have no problems. Sometimes even flashlights can blind you if stared into for too long... So yeah. LOL

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Update to my case posted in "Damaged eyes?" sticky thread - 6 years later

    Wow...
    That really somewhat comforting as well as scary to read. I read the whole original thread as well. I too have damaged my eyes on three occasions. None from lasers, but still very terrifying for up to 36 hours of near complete blindness. (Or at least inability to use eyes at all). All were photokeratitis injury accidents. (snow blindness/ retina sunburn thing)

    1- Climbing Longs Peak, CO in the winter. cloudy day, decided I did not need goggles. Almost 6 hours of unprotected eyes. It was day 2, and we were on our way down, luckily. I did not notice until about 4 hours after we arrived at the bottom. I could not look outside the car at night, could not drive, and stayed indoors the next day.

    2-Minerology shortwave UV lamp exposure WITH eye protection for over 8 hours. A lot of UV must have leaked around the edges of the glasses. (not goggles, just UV glasses like standard clear construction eye glasses). I was unable to use my eyes for again, about 24 hours.

    3-Another mineralogy shortwave and midwave UV lamp overexposure. In this field we use bandpass filters that remove visible light from the UV radiation emitters. These filters make the light coming out of the lamp almost invisible. I thought I had turned all the UV lamps off, but one 120W was left on while I spent about an hour finishing the work with white lights on in the room. I could not see that the UV light was on. This was the worst of the 3. I was in bed with ice on my eyes, no light in the room, window blocked with cardboard, I could not even look at my phone on the lowest brightness setting. Insane pain. I spent 36 hours unable to do ANYTHING but listen to things and ice my eyes. Eyedrops don't help, it feels like the sahara desert is under your eyelid and nothing can get it out. After 36 hours I took 2 pairs of sunglasses and on one pair I used black electrical tape to make a slit across the middle, like inuit sunglasses. Worked great. Fully recovered after 48 hours.

    All I know, All I learned, was to keep wearing the glasses.

    PS-My quiver:

    -2W 447nm CNC laser diode mounted in a handheld pointer. With the focus right and a screw-leveled mount I can burn a cardboard box from 20 meters.

    -1.5W red (unknown wavelength) CNC diode with remote battery back. Divergence limits burning distances to about 3m.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Update to my case posted in "Damaged eyes?" sticky thread - 6 years later

    It occurs to me that the OP's retina probably didn't heal so much as his brain adapted to the blind spot, much as everyone's brains adapt to the blind spots naturally existing where the optic nerves connect to our retinas.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Update to my case posted in "Damaged eyes?" sticky thread - 6 years later

    So k00z;
    I take it you didn't get the memo saying "never point a telescope at the sun"?
    John 3:16

  17. #17

    Default Re: Update to my case posted in "Damaged eyes?" sticky thread - 6 years later

    I'm insisting on the opinion that a 200mw green laser could not damage eyes instantly, unless it stays on the same spot for seconds or longer.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Update to my case posted in "Damaged eyes?" sticky thread - 6 years later

    Quote Originally Posted by TEEJ View Post
    Where the laser strikes, and the wavelength/wattages/range, as described, do make a large difference in the damage. Some people lose sight entirely, and never get it back, other have irritation and lose no sight at all, etc. Not having laser protective goggles of the correct wavelength(s) is always a mistake. Even if you don't accidentally aim it at your eye (Or someone else's), the beam can reflect off of something and ricochet back to an eye and do serious harm, such as playing the laser along a wall and crossing a shiny metal switch plate, etc...and WHAM.

    For some instances, the "Wham" is not FELT...the damage is done w/o you even knowing it. Its only later when the pain or symptoms arise that the damage becomes evident....those are deviously dangerous, as you might be driving home later when the problems arrive, etc.

    There's nothing like trading 20/20 Sight, for 20/20 Hindsight.
    Great info!! Hopefully people will read this and the info will help save their vision. I have a old Wicked Lasers (E3) Green. Use it at night with my Meade ETX 90 telescope.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Update to my case posted in "Damaged eyes?" sticky thread - 6 years later

    Quote Originally Posted by fyrstormer View Post
    It occurs to me that the OP's retina probably didn't heal so much as his brain adapted to the blind spot, much as everyone's brains adapt to the blind spots naturally existing where the optic nerves connect to our retinas.
    Exactly my thoughts as well. I've experienced this first hand due to damage sustained when a drunk driver hit me almost head on in a 45 vs 55mph collision. I used to see fairly large 'floaters' due to the damage done to the vitreous gel and about a decade later, they're completely gone from my point of view. I say 'point of view' because earlier this week instead of wearing proper eye protection, i deployed eye squints and ended up catching a piece of metal in my right eye. While getting it removed, the Ophthalmologist asked me if i had any vision problems, commenting that it appeared that i had what looked like a fairly severe injury in the past. I explained to him about the car crash and told him i thought my eyes had healed and he explained they had not, and that my brain has compensated to make them less apparent even though he could clearly see the damage in his apparatus.

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