BEACON TRANSCRIPT – An ophthalmologist from Greece recently declared that a 9-year-old boy permanently damaged his optical nerve after repeatedly staring into a green laser. According to the case report, which was published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the laser left a large hole in the child’s macula and another one in the retina.
Damage Done by Green Laser Irreversible, Lead Author Wrote in Study
Dr. Sofia Androudi, ophthalmologist and an assistant professor of ophthalmology at the University of Thessaly, wrote in the case study that the damage done to the boy’s retina is irreversible. More than that, the physician noted that, in this particular case, surgery’s ineffective, since the laser burned a considerable hole in the macula.
As Dr. Androudi explained, the macula is an area near the retina, oval in shape, with a significant role in high-acuity vision. More specifically, the macula helps the human eye distinguish certain details such as facial traits or letters on paper when reading.
Macular holes are frequently treated via surgery. However, in almost 100% of cases, patients will develop cataract.
As for the 9-year-old’s case, the examination revealed a large hole in the retina and a small one in the macula. Even more disheartening is the fact that the patient sought treatment a year after the accident. Dr. Androudi said that one or two years wouldn’t have made much of a difference because the damage done by the green laser cannot be mended.
A physical examination of the child’s eyes showed that the retained a 20/20 vision in his right eye and a 20/100 vision in his left eye. To put it in layman’s terms, the boy would have to stand within 20 feet of an object to see it whereas normal-sighted people would see it from 100 feet.
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