Laser eye safety is one of basic concerns during any procedure involving lasers. Proper awareness of the laser eye safety is required both for the general public and the staff performing these procedures. Laser eye safety is extremely important as eye is the most sensitive part of the body and is more vulnerable to the laser energy. Any direct or indirect exposure to the laser light can do permanent damage to eye. The laser light in 400-1400nm range damages the retina (photosensitive part of eye). This damage to eye leaves retina of eye functionless.
Symptoms of eye damage
The burning of retina is a painless process so irreparable damage to the eyes can take place with out any experience of pain. The other wavelengths leave bad affects on the cornea and lens of eye. So, laser exposure overall in any wavelength range or in any intensity can hurt eye in any process involving lasers including laser hair removal.
Invisible lasers; Invisible lasers of wavelengths (10,600 nm) damage the light sensitive layer of the eye, with a feeling of a burning sensation.
Visible lasers; As the visible lasers can be seen so exposure to it is felt as bright flash of light which changes its color first of the color of emitted wavelength is seen followed by its secondary color. It can cause direct damage to various structures of the eye like cornea, sclera and retina of the eye. In the later case damage to cones may result in loss of ability to differentiate red and blue colures.
Color blindness; After retina is affected, the difficulty in detecting blue or green colors secondary to cone damage, and pigmentation of the retina may be noticed.
Vision abnormalities; Exposure to laser of wavelength 1064 nm is also dangerous as it is undetectable due to lack of pain sensory nerve endings in the retina. Photo acoustic retinal damage may be associated with an audible "pop" at the time of exposure.
Factors determining damage
The following factors determine the extent of damage during laser hair removal procedure
- Laser irradiance
- Exposure duration
- Beam size
Based on these factors the resultant damage can rage from partial exposure to severe damage to the eyes.
This should be used whenever there is exposure to laser light of any intensity or of any wavelength. The protective eyewear includes goggle, glasses, or shields which protect eye from potential laser injury.
According to ANSI Z136.3 (1988) guidelines, each laser requires a specific type of protective laser eyewear which meets the respective safe requirement of the laser device being used. If you are not using a laser specific eye wear then chances are that u might damage your eyes despite wearing laser protective eyewear.
Hence it is concluded that care of eyes must be the first priority. Eyes should be taken care of during any procedure involving lasers especially the laser hair removal procedure. As a general rule says, "safety of both client and performing physician should be first the priority of the physician during any cosmetic procedure".