Eye injuries from laser exposure: a review.

Lasers pose a significant threat to vision in modern military operations. Anti-personnel lasers have been designed that can cause intentional blindness in large numbers of personnel. Although the use of blinding laser weapons during combat has been prohibited by international legislation, research and development of these weapons have not been prohibited, and significant controversy remains. Unintentional blinding can also result from other types of lasers used on the battlefield, such as range-finders and anti-material lasers. Lasers that are capable of producing blindness operate within specific wavelength parameters and include visible and near infrared lasers. Patients who suffer from laser eye injuries usually complain of flash blindness, followed by transient or permanent visual loss. Laser retinal damage should be suspected in any patient with visual complaints in an operational setting. The treatment for laser retinal injuries is extremely limited, and prevention is essential. Improved protective eyeware and other countermeasures to laser eye injury are necessary as long as the threat remains.
AuthorsS J Hudson
JournalAviation, space, and environmental medicine (Aviat Space Environ Med) Vol. 69 Issue 5 Pg. 519-24 (May 1998) ISSN: 0095-6562 [Print] UNITED STATES
PMID9591626 (Publication Type: News)
  • Blindness (etiology, prevention & control)
  • Eye Injuries (etiology, prevention & control)
  • Humans
  • Lasers (adverse effects)
  • Military Medicine
  • Military Personnel
  • Retina (pathology)

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