Eye doctors warn consumers of high watt lasers

High watt lasers cause eye damage.

Eye doctors are warning consumers of damage from lasers. However, most lasers are purchased for harmless uses such as classroom instruction.

â??I mean occasionally, it [laser pointer] would help like to clear up where he was discussing on graphs and what not,â?? says Truman State University student Clayton Morton.

â??When the screens are in the classroom, up above the teacher, they canâ??t reach the screen to point at things so they use a laser pointer,â?? says Truman Professor Michael Goggin.

But are they really as helpful as they seem?

â??Well unfortunately, the damage from a laser will sometimes be self limiting and it'll kind of go away and your eyes will get better, but sometimes not, sometimes it's permanent and the permanent type of damage, you're kind of stuck with,â?? says Dr. Ronald Brand.

Doctor Ronald Brand tells us there is a reassembled kind of super laser that is made from old projection TVâ??s being sold.

These dangerous tools are sometimes 1200 milliwatts compared to the five milliwatts found in laser pointers.

â??Studies show exposure for even fractions of a second to high-powered laser devices can cause serious eye injuries and sometimes blindness (Journal of the American Academy of Ophthalmology).â??

You're probably wondering what you should do to protect yourself from these dangers. Good news is-- the super lasers are typically not found in stores and these aren't usually the lasers found inside of your child's classroom. Be careful, however, when ordering from the internet what may be marketed as a "toy."

The natural mechanism of the eye, such as blinking, is not enough to protect one from eye damage. The high watt gadgets should just be avoided at all costs.

In the case that you must use any type of laser beam, doctors suggest wearing goggles to protect your eyes.

â??These newer lasers that Iâ??m hearing about are much stronger and they can actually burn things and they could blind in the briefest moment,â?? says Dr. Brand.

â??Problem is, most people donâ??t have the means to measure these devices, so Iâ??d suggest never pointing a laser at your eye or someone elseâ??s eye,â?? says Professor Goggin.