Laser pointer burns hole in 9-year-old boy's retina

9-year-old boy burns hole in retina after staring into laser pointer beam

After examination, doctors were shocked to discover a big hole in the boy's macula, which is a very small area in the eye's retina.

The hole formed after he repeatedly gazed into the laser beam, according to a case report from The New England Journal of Medicine.

Holes in the macula are generally treated by surgery, which comes with near about one hundred percent risk of developing cataract formation.

As a result, the boy's vision in his left eye was obliterated.

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A young boy has permanently injured his eye by staring into a green laser pointer. Because the damage to the macula was so serious and caused by laser burn, the nerves that absorb light were also completely destroyed. Sadly, this means that even if the doctors conduct the surgery in this case, the boy will lose his vision.

The case study indicated that the boy's father purchased the laser pointer from a street merchant before giving it to his son to use as a toy.

The director at the Vision Center at Children's Hospital Los Angeles, Dr. Thomas C. Lee, said in a statement, "When you have something as powerful like a laser, it's so powerful that it is converted to heat like a burn". "That can leave scar tissue behind and can cause bleeding".

"And these are particularly unsafe powers, and there's no way for you to know as a user that this laser pointer that you got off the internet has the right power". They might even end up with a blind spot right in the middle of the eye.

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The child came in for a check-up with his doctor in Volos, Greece, more than a year after his injury, and complained of some issues seeing. It's like a magnifying glass burning a piece of paper. But they powerful laser can be found online.

In Australia, laser pointers with a beam strength of greater than 1mW of light require written permission from the Federal government to be imported into the country.

The boy later told the specialists that he had been playing with a green laser pointer and had made a decision to look into the beam.

"Although many national health agencies have warned about the potential eye hazards associated with handheld laser pointers... more powerful laser devices remain accessible, especially through the Internet", it said.

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