PURPOSE: To report a case of macular damage from a laser pointer. METHOD: Case report. A 19-year-old woman had an acute reduction of visual acuity in the right eye after deliberately staring into a commercial class 2 laser pointer for approximately 10 seconds. RESULTS: The patient's best- corrected visual acuity was RE: 20/40, and she had two small pericentral scotomata, as well as a hypopigmented ring-shaped lesion in the fovea. Within 8 weeks, her visual acuity improved to 20/20 and visual field returned to normal, but a subjective relative decrease in brightness of objects viewed by the right eye was apparent. Retinal pigment epithelial abnormality persisted. CONCLUSIONS: Commercial laser pointers, commonly used for teaching and entertainment purposes, may cause notable macular damage if abused. Morphologically, this may manifest as foveal retinal pigment epithelial disturbance.
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