In the past few years, injuries or incidents involving accidental or intentional laser pointers exposure have been on the rise, and these events are now becoming dangerously common
In January, the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) released a spreadsheet detailing the number of incidents, and in 2014 alone there were 3894 incidents directed from the ground to aircraft. The FAA began campaigning to deter incidents by imposing criminal sentences and fines and offering rewards of up to $10,000 for information leading to arrests.
But the greatest concerns are from reports of unsupervised children who have received lasers as toys or gifts and expose themselves to the laser beams, causing retinal injury and loss of central vision. Most of the cases involve teenage males, and the injuries were sustained by staring directly at the laser beam, staring at the beam reflected off a mirror, or by being zapped by a “friend”.
Lasers can cause a variety of types of injuries to the retina, the power of the laser and the duration of the exposure determines the extent of most injuries.