As a parent, we want to make sure that we are taking care of our children. The problem is, there may be certain toys that we feel are harmless but they could actually be causing a considerable amount of damage.
This has recently come to light when eye doctors in Australia put the word out to parents that laser pointers are not toys. In fact, one caused a very serious problem in a 14-year-old boy. Ben Armitage is the optometrist who was looking into this problem. You might be surprised to learn that the child did not point the laser pointer at his eye for an extended amount of time. In fact, he only did it for a brief moment.
Most people are unaware of the fact that it can cause so much damage but parents need to be aware that laser pointers are not toys. “He came into see me and on the Friday night he’d got hold of a laser pen and unfortunately shined it in his eyes for a very brief period of time.” As a result of the accident, the boy now has lost 75% of his vision.
“He’s actually managed to burn the retina at the back of the eye near an area called the macular.” – Armitage
Much of our detailed vision comes about due to the macula. When we experience damage in that part of the eye, the vision loss can be exaggerated. He didn’t experience any pain but the vision loss became apparent almost immediately. They hope that some of his vision will return when the swelling goes down.
One of the big issues in this case is that the damage is permanent and can not be corrected with glasses.
To understand what has happened, imagine that the macular is like a camera sensor. When the sensor is damaged, your camera will not see clearly, regardless of what lens you put on the camera. The eye is similar in that glasses will not make a difference.
This young lad has had his central vision damaged. It is the part of our vision that allows us to see straight ahead and is important for driving, reading and seeing things in sharp detail. There is nothing that can restore the central vision once it is damaged.
Optometry Tasmania has issued a warning due to this accident. They want parents to know that laser pointers should not be used as toys. You can help spread the word by sharing this post.