Can A Laser Level Damage Your Eyes?
Since the laser level was invented, it has become an essential tool that provides an efficient way of handling various works of a surveying and construction project. Not only is it used for taking measurements – collecting information that can be implemented in planning and land management, but it’s also used in leveling – an integral part of surveying.
To crown it all, they can be used for indoor home improvement projects like floor installation, door and window installation, cabinet installation, hanging pictures, aligning and plumbing walls, etc. Little wonder, the number of people opting for this valuable piece of equipment is increasing by the day.
But the laser level is not without its shortcomings. And since eye safety is imperative in surveying and construction, the safety of laser level has often been questioned.
Can a laser level damage your eyes? If yes, how can you protect yourself from the radiation emitted by laser beams? The answers to these questions are just a few lines away.
Can A Laser Level Damage Your Eyes?
Of course, it can!
But before I tell you how, let me ask you a few questions. How do feel when viewing the sun with your bare eyes?
You’ll develop sunburn-causing pain and discomfort in the eyes, isn’t it? Of course, you will! And this sunburn on your eyeball is capable of blinding you or blurring your vision due to the intensity of the light.
Same goes for the beam emitted by a laser level. This beam is a form of powerful light with great intensity. It is highly collimated, giving it enough power to cause severe retinal responses to a level that is even higher than staring at the sun with your bare eyes. When you stare at these laser beams, it will disrupt the integrity of your eye structure, and this could result in permanent loss of sight.
What Are The Different Types Of Laser And Their Harmful Effect?
To avoid laser hazards, you need to know the harmful effects of each laser type used on various laser devices available on the market today.
For better clarity, the types of laser systems are grouped into six classes based on the severity of damage they can cause, these include:
Class 1 and 1M
This type of laser beams is found in remotes; they are enclosed in a housing and will not damage the eyes.
This laser type is also safe and won’t damage the eyes. It is enclosed in a case, and its power ranges up to 1mW. You can use class 2 laser levels without putting on your safety glasses.
This laser type can damage your eyes when viewed with or without an optical instrument for a long period.
This type of laser power ranges up to 5mW, and it is hazardous. Staring directly into the laser beam of this type even for a few seconds can cause damage to the eye retina. Thus, you should avoid staring at the class 3R laser beam.
This laser type is highly injurious to the eyes. It can cause severe damages even if you view the beam directly for a period shorter than the blink reflexes, or view its beam reflection through a mirror. When using laser levels with this much power, you should be careful to avoid pointing this laser closer to the eyes.
This is the most harmful laser beam. Not only can it damage the eyes, but can also burn the skin. Do not use devices with Class 4 laser type in construction sites as it is hazardous and dangerous.
Symptoms Of Laser Eye Injuries
The intensity of damage caused is based on the wavelength of the laser beam reflected or absorbed. However, the symptoms and signs of laser eye injuries include:
- Burning pain sensation in the exposed region of the eyes, especially in the cornea or sclera. This normally happens when the eyes are exposed to an invisible laser beam of 10,5600nm wavelength.
- The difficulty in distinguishing between green and blue colors is an indication of damage to the retina pigmentation.
- Change in visual perception of a bright color flash of the laser beam, i.e., Seeing the green flash which then changes to red when viewing green laser light.
- Gradual loss of vision may be observed especially with painless retinal damages.
- The sudden blindness that slowly disappears within a few weeks
How To Protect The Eyes From Laser Level Damages?
The eyes are the light of the body and are also the most vulnerable organ of the body when using a laser measure or a laser level.
Using laser protective glasses is one of the best ways to protect your eyes from laser damages but how do you select the right protective eyewear?
The tips below might be able to help.
- Know the wavelength of your laser level. Consult a Certified Laser Safety Officer if you are unable to determine the wavelength of your device.
- Check your laser’s manual to find the recommended Optical Density or determine the level of protection you need based on your laser’s wavelength and output parameters.
- Select the filter lens that matches the information above. Make sure you select the one that provides the highest level of visibility.
- Look for a frame that suits you. Select a fit-over frame for prescription options.
Laser Eye Safety Tips
- Always check the type of laser your laser level device has before use. You should be very careful when using laser levels with strong laser power.
- Try as much as possible to confine or enclose the laser beam.
- Make use of fluorescent screens to align the beams.
- Do not stare at the beam or expose yourself directly to it or its reflections.
- Use the lowest power possible when aligning the beams.
- For indoor use, be sure to keep your rooms well-lighted. You can constrict your pupils to allow lesser eye accommodation of the laser beam.
Now that you know that a laser level can damage your eyes, it is high time you took your safety to heart and to follow the necessary safety precautions to prevent eye injury.