A comprehensive resource for safe and responsible laser use

Japan: Boy who routinely stared into a laser pointer develops lesion in one eye

A boy with intellectual disabilities “from the age of 2 to 3 years stared at [a green laser pointer] with his dominant right eye every day for more than 10 seconds at a time, as if it were a toy, at a distance of 30 cm [1 foot].”

At the age of 11, he had normal 20/20 (1.0) vision in the left eye, but 20/100 vision (0.20) in the right. Examination of the right eye showed a yellow lesion or fibrous tissue surrounded by a subretinal hemorrhage in the right macula. At age 13, examination showed the lesion was leaking on fluorescein angiography. At age 14, there was no change.

The doctors elected not to perform any treatment due to the patient’s age and mental condition.

From “Choroidal Neovascularization in a Child Following Laser Pointer-Induced Macular Injury”, Fujinami, K., Yokoi, T., Hiraoka, M. et al. Japanese Journal of Ophthalmology November 2010, Vol. 54, Issue 6, pp 631-633 (2010) 54: 631. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10384-010-0876-z First online January 21 2011.