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Thread: I got eye damage from watching a laser

  1. #1
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    Exclamation I got eye damage from watching a laser


    I'm just posting this topic to warn you all, so you will not do the same stupid thing a I did.


    I'm a victom of eye damage, by watching a 400mW RGB laserprojector.

    A friend of mine build a laser Projector (200mw red, 80mw green, 80mW blue)

    After watching a beamshow from a distance aprox 4/5 meters I now have a hole in my vision and see some distortion and lines in my vision.

    Reading all laser safety guideline, most of the time the danger of static beams are mentioned, and less about a laser scanning system. I thought because the beam is scanned very quick the danger would be much less, but unfortunally this is not the case!

    I also have a theory, people with a very good vision are much more vulnerable for laser radiation compared to people with not so good eyes, because the laser will be better focused at on point at your retrina. My friend who watched the same show tells me he dont have eye damage from watching the beamshow! possible because he's got not that good and sharp vision as me, so the focus spot on the retina is less.

  2. #2
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    I am sorry to hear about the damage caused but I would like to think that there was enough warning given in the manner of labels, stickers, verbal from your 'friend' etc etc previous to you watching.
    What sort of time interval where you exposed to the radiation for?
    --------------------
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  3. #3
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    I we were watching the beams and tunnels for about 1 minute I think

    Sometime in clubs you see 1W laser scanning the crowd from 10 meter so
    we just thougt 5 meter was a safe distance for viewing the 400mW laser.

  4. #4
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    Hi, i'm building a 300mw setup. The first time that I felt a 100mw laser sting my skin said enough. I do not want an eye-tattoo :-)

    Also, some people try to overcome their blink reflex. Maybe your blink reflex was a bit slower then your friends.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by highvolt View Post
    Hi, i'm building a 300mw setup. The first time that I felt a 100mw laser sting my skin said enough. I do not want an eye-tattoo :-)

    Also, some people try to overcome their blink reflex. Maybe your blink reflex was a bit slower then your friends.
    You are talking about a static beam. Im talking about a scanned beam, 30K scanning at 20 deg. 400mw so a MPE of 1.6

    I think my eyes are focusing better so much much more power is concentrated at one location at your retrina.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by mccarrot View Post
    You are talking about a static beam. Im talking about a scanned beam, 30K scanning at 20 deg. 400mw so a MPE of 1.6

    I think my eyes are focusing better so much much more power is concentrated at one location at your retrina.
    I don't think that's how vision works. People with better eyes isn't a result of how sharp their eye focuses the light. Its the cones and rods that receive the light is what determines your vision.

    I think its just an unfortunate accident. We will have nanotech eye implants in 10 years time anyway no need to worry.
    -Pangolin graphics designer

  7. #7
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    How did you come by your 1.6 MPE value without knowing the exact exposure duration, beam diameter, beam divergence etc etc?

    Please see here for how to do it properly with the required tools:
    http://www.pangolin.com/resguide09a.htm

    Some clubs/events just somehow get away with it I really don't know how. I guess truth be known if the retina's of assorted manic club goer's where to be photographed I would suspect you would see some sort of damage apparent on quite a few of them.
    --------------------
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    Continuously in Awe! of (H)Al, the Photonlexicon Font of Complete Knowledge - The (H)Al'PL Database of complete puss that no one needs to know or ever trusts as he ain't really got a Scooby doo about now't!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by mccarrot View Post
    You are talking about a static beam. Im talking about a scanned beam, 30K scanning at 20 deg. 400mw so a MPE of 1.6
    A scanned show at 30k doesn't mean that there wasn't any static beam for enough time (depend on the power, enough time can be very short to make damage), or for example a circle which start large enough, but decreasing it's size during the show to reach a lesser circle (or in the worst case, a point), without decreasing the brightness in the same time (which is a programming mistake).

    You can simply explain why you got a damage and not your friend, by the fact your eyes was not in the same place than the ones of your friend...

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by mccarrot View Post
    I'm just posting this topic to warn you all, so you will not do the same stupid thing a I did.

    I'm a victom of eye damage, by watching a 400mW RGB laserprojector.

    A friend of mine build a laser Projector (200mw red, 80mw green, 80mW blue)

    After watching a beamshow from a distance aprox 4/5 meters I now have a hole in my vision and see some distortion and lines in my vision.
    Question: Have you had your eyes checked by an eyecare professional since the 'damage' occurred?

    If you made this posting just after the perceived 'damage' occurred it is possible that it was flash blindness. However, the damage 'could' be very real. You need to be sure, and the only way you will know for sure is to get your eyes checked by an eyecare professional. The human brain is very good at compensating for damage in vision and will tend to knit together the missing parts over time (unless the damage is really bad ).

    Reading all laser safety guideline, most of the time the danger of static beams are mentioned, and less about a laser scanning system. I thought because the beam is scanned very quick the danger would be much less, but unfortunally this is not the case!

    I also have a theory, people with a very good vision are much more vulnerable for laser radiation compared to people with not so good eyes, because the laser will be better focused at on point at your retrina. My friend who watched the same show tells me he dont have eye damage from watching the beamshow! possible because he's got not that good and sharp vision as me, so the focus spot on the retina is less.
    I sort of understand what you're trying to say although your theory is somewhat flawed. However, if your friend was wearing spectacles he too would have perfect vision. It's more likely that he was just sitting in a different position and had less exposure form certain beam effects.

    Once you've had your eyes checked by a professional I would be really interested to see the individual report on your vision, you can PM me this if you prefer. I work in the field of ophthalmic optics and i'm sure it would make interesting reading

    Cheers

    Jem
    Quote: "There is a theory which states that if ever, for any reason, anyone discovers what exactly the Universe is for and why it is here it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. There is another that states that this has already happened.... Douglas Adams 1952 - 2001

  10. #10
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    Is this conversation about a direct hit from the laser into your pupil?

    If it is, what were you thinking!

    That is NEVER, NEVER, NEVER an acceptable thing to expose yourself to.

    Even if you are in front of the laser projector and the beams are scanning all over your face (not very smart) you can still avoid looking directly at the source of the beam. At least that way, it won't hit your macula.

    I was born with only one working macula. I can't afford even one mistake.

    James.

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