In the Journals

Visual recovery possible after eye injuries from hand-held laser pointers

Commercial hand-held laser pointers can inflict macular injuries, but good visual recovery is possible.

A study included eight eyes of seven patients who reported injuries after exposure to laser pointers. Five of the injuries were accidentally self-inflicted while playing with the device, and most patients described brief direct exposure to the beam.

Five patients were exposed to a 5-mW green laser, one was exposed to a red beam of unknown power, and one was exposed to a 5-mW red beam. Spectral-domain OCT revealed foveal changes in all eyes after laser exposure.

Best corrected visual acuity at presentation ranged from counting fingers at 2 m to 6/6. After dilated ophthalmoscopy, a yellow-orange retinal lesion at the foveola was observed in five eyes, premacular subhyaloid hemorrhage in two eyes and full-thickness macular hole in one eye.

High-dose oral prednisone was used to treat all patients. Follow-up ranged from 2 months to 12 months, with eyes experiencing visual acuity improvement to 6/8 and 6/6 in all cases except one, which remained at counting fingers from 2 m. – by Robert Linnehan

Disclosures: The authors report no relevant financial disclosures.

Commercial hand-held laser pointers can inflict macular injuries, but good visual recovery is possible.

A study included eight eyes of seven patients who reported injuries after exposure to laser pointers. Five of the injuries were accidentally self-inflicted while playing with the device, and most patients described brief direct exposure to the beam.

Five patients were exposed to a 5-mW green laser, one was exposed to a red beam of unknown power, and one was exposed to a 5-mW red beam. Spectral-domain OCT revealed foveal changes in all eyes after laser exposure.

Best corrected visual acuity at presentation ranged from counting fingers at 2 m to 6/6. After dilated ophthalmoscopy, a yellow-orange retinal lesion at the foveola was observed in five eyes, premacular subhyaloid hemorrhage in two eyes and full-thickness macular hole in one eye.

High-dose oral prednisone was used to treat all patients. Follow-up ranged from 2 months to 12 months, with eyes experiencing visual acuity improvement to 6/8 and 6/6 in all cases except one, which remained at counting fingers from 2 m. – by Robert Linnehan

Disclosures: The authors report no relevant financial disclosures.