An ophthalmologist at Kaohsiung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital has cautioned the public about the damage that laser pointers can cause to eyes, after a 10-year-old Kaohsiung boy suffered retinal damage after playing with a laser pointer with a classmate.
Handheld laser pointers are useful in educational and business presentations, but they are not toys and can cause severe, sometimes permanent, retinal damage if shone directly into the eyes, Department of Ophthalmology director Wu Pei-chang (吳佩昌) said on Sunday.
When his patient and a friend were playing with the laser pointer, they were trying to dodge the beam so that it did not hit their eyes, but at some point the laser did hit the boy’s left eye, Wu said.
The boy later said he felt a temporary stinging pain and was sensitive to light afterwards, but his family did not seek medical attention.
However, during a regular eye exam two weeks later, a visible retinal burn was discovered in the boy’s left eye, Wu said.
Laser pointers produce a high-powered beam of monochromatic light that is concentrated in a small area, and if the beam hits the eye, it passes through the cornea, vitreous body and onto the retina, where the intensity of the light can be expanded by about 100 times, he said, adding that retina cells that respond to light are pigmented and can heat up if hit by a laser beam.
If the laser beam had been pointed at his eye for a longer period, the boy could have suffered a retinal tear, bleeding or even blindness, the doctor said.
The boy underwent photocoagulation treatment and will need regular follow-up exams to monitor the eye’s healing, but he did not suffer any vision loss, Wu said.
If somone is exposed to any kind of laser light, whether from a pointer, stage lighting or cosmetic lasers, and their eyes later do not feel normal, they should seek medical attention as soon as possible to prevent permanent damage, Wu said.
DIPLOMATIC MOVES: Beijing is reportedly pressing the state after reports of forming links with Taiwan, while the ministry is also planning to reopen its office in Guam soon A representative office is set to open in Somaliland at the end of this month, at the earliest, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said yesterday amid reports that Beijing is sending a diplomatic delegation to the east African country. The ministry on July 1 announced that Taiwan and Somaliland would establish representative offices, following a report by the Somaliland Chronicle Web site. It said at the time that the two nations did not plan to establish formal ties. Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi has instructed close confidants to explore the possibility of “mutual recognition between Taiwan and Somaliland,” the Somaliland Chronicle reported
‘IMMORAL, INSINCERE’: Huang Kun-huei said that Ma was ‘distorting history’ in claiming that Lee Teng-hui laid the foundation for the so-called ‘1992 consensus’ Former Presidential Office secretary-general Huang Kun-huei (黃昆輝) on Saturday rejected former president Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) claim that former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) had been a proponent of Beijing’s “one China” principle. Lee, who served as president from 1988 to 2000, died in Taipei on Thursday last week. After visiting the Taipei Guest House on Saturday to pay his respects to Lee, Ma posted on Facebook that “28 years ago on this day” Lee hosted a session of the now-defunct National Unification Council, during which he passed a resolution on the “one China” principle. That resolution became the basis of the Chinese Nationalist Party’s
NEW ERA: Taiwan, which has controlled its virus outbreak, now faces the challenge of safely resuming economic exchanges with other nations, Chang Shan-chwen said People should not focus entirely on having zero new confirmed COVID-19 cases in Taiwan, but neglect overall control over the disease situation, Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) specialist advisory panel convener Chang Shan-chwen (張上淳) said yesterday. Chang made the remark at a forum in Taipei discussing the steps Taiwan should take in the post-pandemic era, organized by the Chinese-language magazine Global Views Monthly. Chang, Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Director-General Chou Jih-haw (周志浩), and Stanford University’s Center for Policy, Outcomes and Prevention director C. Jason Wang (王智弘) each made a presentation, followed by a panel discussion with Chang, Wang and Buddhist Tzu
A Belgian man who tested positive for COVID-19 in Taiwan last week is likely to have contracted the disease in Taipei in late June, National Taiwan University (NTU) College of Public Health vice dean Tony Chen (陳秀熙) said yesterday. The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Saturday reported that the man, who is in his 20s, came to Taiwan for work on May 3 and tested positive on Wednesday last week as he was about to depart. The man in March reported loss of taste and smell, the center said, adding that he worked in Changhua County, but visited Taipei several times,