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February 1985

Laser Accidents

Arch Ophthalmol. 1985;103(2):174-175. doi:10.1001/archopht.1985.01050020026004

To the Editor.  —Two decades ago, the first report1 of a laser-induced macular injury appeared in a medical journal. Recently, all cases of laser retinal injuries appearing in the medical literature were reviewed2 and summarized in a table.2,3 The table showed data on retinal and visual effects, including course and outcome, and laser specifications, with ratios of exposure dosages to human maximum permissible exposure levels. The total reported injuries involved 24 eyes in 23 patients.One third of the injuries resulted in acute reduction in visual acuities to 20/200 or worse (in one case, bilaterally), and more than half of the patients had visual acuities no better than 20/100. More than one third had vitreous hemorrhage, frequently with retinal hole formation. While most patients had improved visual acuities in a few weeks, nearly one third had permanent loss of vision, mostly caused by macular hole formation. One