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The laser (light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation) is increasingly used in industrial and scientific laboratories. Although ophthalmologists are aware of the fact that this instrument can cause retinal burns, there have been several instances in which it has become apparent that personnel using the device may not be as alert to the danger of retinal damage as might be expected.
Two patients have recently been observed, who worked with a laser of 0.2 joule output, 1 to 2 megawatts delivered in 35 nano seconds half width from a "Q switched" laser. Both of these individuals had small white discrete areas, similar to experimentally produced laser retinal burns in animals. One reported that he had observed the beam by specular reflection from the mirror-like surface of a piece of glass. The area of the visual field in which the reflection has been seen corresponded to the area of the
Jacobson JH, Mclean JM. ACCIDENTAL LASER RETINAL BURNS. Arch Ophthalmol. 1965;74(6):882. doi:10.1001/archopht.1965.00970040884029