A Tasmanian teenager lost 75 percent of his vision after shining a laser pointer in his eyes, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reports.
The 14-year-old’s family optometrist, Ben Armitage, says: ‘He came in to see me and on the Friday night he’d got a hold of a laser pen and unfortunately shined it in his eyes for a very brief period of time.’
The optometrist photographed the teenager’s eyes and found that he had burned his retinas, which permanently damaged the back of his eyes.
‘Unfortunately, that’s the area where your detailed central vision takes place and therefore it’s had somewhat of an exaggerated effect on how much sight he’s lost.’ Armitage added.
The damage was almost instantaneous when he shone the laser in his eyes and his vision was immediately impacted, although he experience no pain.
His eyes were burned near the area called the macular, which means his blindness was likely to be permanent.
However, Armitage was hopeful that some of his vision might return once the swelling goes down, but the teen must be prepared to live the rest of his life with only 25 percent vision.
Geoff Squibb, Optometry Tasmania Chief Executive, has warned parents not to purchasing laser pointers for children.
He says “Parents are better off trying to warn children of them after this particular case where the future of a young person has been seriously affected.”
The possible repercussions could be devastating – what you may think is a harmless toy is in reality a ‘silent killer’ of cells needed for vision.