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US: Rock concert fan injured by laser pointer-wielding crowd member

Someone attending a rock concert aimed a green laser pointer at a person a few feet away, who “looked away as quickly as he could”. The exposure was estimated to be no longer than a second. The person, a 23-year-old male, had a black afterimage which faded after “seconds to minutes.” However he was left with a 2 to 3 millimeter gray hazy spot in his left eye, which was a “constant annoyance.”

He was examined two days later at the Wills Eye Institute in Philadelphia. While slit-scan examination of the left eye showed no abnormalities, on an Amsler grid exam the patient drew a 2 mm circular spot. A fundus photograph showed a circular lesion in the fovea (magnified on the right):

Foveal lesion, magnified on right side

Two weeks later the patient said there was some improvement in his vision. Fundus photography showed the lesion was smaller and less prominent; this was corroborated by optical coherence tomography (OCT).

The patient’s vision was expected to continue to improve over time.

From “Wills Eye Resident Case Series”, Jared D. Peterson, M.D. in the Review of Ophthalmology, November 7 2011. Introduction to case
here; details of diagnosis, and discussion of eye injuries and treatment here.