First Author: L.Tabuenca Del Barrio SPAIN
Co Author(s): M. Mozo Cuadrado P. Plaza Ramos F. Gonzalvo Ibanez R. Abarzuza Cortaire A. Zubicoa Eneriz C. Abascal Azanza
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Report a clinical case of macular damage caused by the use of a laser pointer
Complejo Hospitalario de Navarra
A 12-year-old boy presented to our clinic complaining of a blind spot in his left eye after playing with a green light laser pointer two days ago. On examination, the visual acuity (VA) was 10/10 in both eyes. Fundus examination of right eye was unremarkable, whereas the left eye revealed a yellowish spot in the centre of the macula. Optical coherence tomography (OCT) showed the disruption of the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE). Fortunately, one month later, the VA continued to be 10/10 but OCT showed similar results.
Laser pointer devices are a common part of everyday life. The number of children using them is increasing because of their easy acquisition in bazaars and on the Internet, which can become a serious public health issue. It is known that exposure to certain kinds of these lasers can generate serious damage to human eye like retinal edema, scars in the pigment epithelium, perifoveal drusenoid or hypopigmented lesions in fovea. The risk depends on the pulse duration, the energy level and the retina location. School teachers, health professionals and parents should educate their children about the danger of using laser pointers.
The number of children with macular damage due to the use of laser pointer is increasing. In addition, the possible long-term complications are not well known, so they should not be allowed to use them as toys.