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Parents Beware: That Laser Pointer Could Blind Your Chid

Laser pointers are not toys! The number of eye injuries in children from lasers is rising because too many parents are unaware that a hand-held laser pointer can cause a laser burn injury to their child’s macula if the child looks directly into the beam, especially if it is a high-power laser bought over the internet. This burn can cause legal blindness and the inability to read or recognize faces.

Laser pointers cannot be sold in the US unless their energy output is 5 milliwatts or lower, but lasers purchased abroad can have energy outputs of up to 1,000 milliwatts. These lasers are extremely dangerous to eyes, and it is illegal to own them. Pointing any laser at an aircraft is a serious federal crime that is punishable by fines and in some cases imprisonment.

Always follow these rules:

  • Do not buy a laser pointer that emits more than 5 milliwatts
  • Never shine a laser pointer at a human eye
  • Do not buy a laser pointer for your child, or allow them to play with your pointer

Migraine and Their Consequences

A MIGRAINE HEADACHE is an intense, throbbing or boring pain in one part of the head that is usually accompanied by nausea or vomiting, sensitivity to light, sound or smell, and fatigue. Migraines usually last between four and seventy two hours.

About one third of migraine patients have so-called CLASSIC MIGRAINE, where their headache is preceded by an AURA, i.e. some type of sensory warning symptom, such as flickering or flashing lights similar to static on a television, often taking the shape of zig-zag lines in an arc like the crown of the Statue of Liberty (“fortification scotoma”), blind spots, or numbness or tingling in an arm or a leg.

Auras always come on GRADUALLY over five to fifteen minutes, last between five minutes to an hour, and then fade away SLOWLY.

Roughly one percent of patients have ACEPHALGIC OR SILENT MIGRAINES, i. e. they experience auras but they do not have any headache.

Recent studies have shown that people who suffer from CLASSIC MIGRAINE, i.e. migraine with an aura, are at increased risk for heart attacks and strokes. These people should reduce their risk by exercising, eating a healthy diet (low in saturated fats and refined sugars, and high in fruits and vegetables), maintaining a healthy weight, and not smoking. Women who have classic migraine should not take contraceptive pills or supplemental estrogen or progesterone.