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March 1955

Chorioretinal Burns Produced by Atomic Flash

Author Affiliations

U.S.A.F.; Randolph Field, Texas
From the U. S. A. F. School of Aviation Medicine.

AMA Arch Ophthalmol. 1955;53(3):351-364. doi:10.1001/archopht.1955.00930010353005

The intensity of radiant energy released at detonation of an atomic bomb in the form of infrared and visible light is extremely high. It is a physical agent with which ophthalmologists are familiar because it produces the well-known eclipse burn of the retina. It is this infrared and visible light which produces the atomic chorioretinal burns which are the subject of this presentation. This report is the first of a large-scale study of this hazard.

Eclipse blindness, with its typical macular burns, has been reported by Birch-Hirschfeld *; Verhoeff, Bell, and Walker123; Alexander1; Aubaret3; Lundsgaard and Rönne82; McCulloch84; Rosen104; Tower120; Zade †; Jess,‡ and many others. Excellent reviews have been published by Lauber75; BirchHirschfeld14; Verhoeff, Bell, and Walker,123 and Irvine.64

While the components of light which produce the damage are the same for visible light and infrared radiation, there are

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