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World J Ophthalmol. Feb 12, 2014; 4(1): 1-6
Published online Feb 12, 2014. doi: 10.5318/wjo.v4.i1.1
Ocular damage secondary to lights and lasers: How to avoid and treat if necessary
Mohamed S Sayed, Marcus J Ko, Audrey C Ko, Wendy W Lee
Mohamed S Sayed, Marcus J Ko, Audrey C Ko, Wendy W Lee, Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, FL 33136, United States
Author contributions: Lee WW contributed to design and final approval; Sayed MS contributed to writing of the manuscript; Ko MJ and Ko AC contributed to critical revision.
Correspondence to: Wendy W Lee, MD, Associate Professor of Clinical Ophthalmology, Oculofacial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Orbit and Oncology, Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, 900 NW 17th Street, Miami, FL 33136, United States.
Telephone: +1-305-3266434 Fax: +1-305-3266443
Received: October 31, 2013
Revised: January 7, 2014
Accepted: January 17, 2014
Published online: February 12, 2014

An armamentarium of the latest light and laser technologies are used by physicians of different disciplines to address a variety of aesthetic challenges in the periocular region and throughout the body. If improperly used, these modalities can inflict serious ocular injury on the patient, support personnel, and operator. It is paramount that providers involved in operating these technologies be knowledgeable about the physical and clinically relevant properties of the unit being used. This involves training in the proper utilization, appropriate treatment parameters, and safety measure for each. Selection of the appropriate eye protection is particularly important for both the patient and the personnel. It is also imperative for the laser operator to understand the range of potential ocular complications associated with the cosmetic use of lasers and lights, to recognize the signs and symptoms associated with ocular damage, and to provide efficient first aid measures should damage ensue. Possible ocular complications related to the cosmetic use of lasers and lights range from mild eyelid swelling and erythema to potentially blinding macular injury. Ocular injury may also be inflicted by the improper selection or placement of eye protection. A complete ophthalmologic evaluation and timely management of potential complications is mandated when there is any concern for ocular injury.

Keywords: Laser, Intense pulsed light, Cosmetic, Laser safety eyewear, Ocular complications, Aesthetic

Core tip: The selection of the appropriate laser safety eyewear (LSE) and eye shields while performing laser and/or light therapy to the face and periocular region may, among other precautionary measures, prevent the occurrence of ocular complications that can sometimes be severe and even blinding. Since LSE is specific for each particular wavelength, extreme caution should be exercised to avoid selecting the inappropriate LSE. The choice of external or corneal shields for the protection of the patient’s eyes depends on the particular area to be treated.