The continuing development of new types and applications of lasers has appeared to surpass the development of specific eye protection for these lasers. There are a variety of eye shields on the market, but few are specifically designed for laser protection.
Our purpose was to test a variety of eye shields by two parameters, light transmission and temperature rise, and to determine from these measurements the most protective shield for patients.
We tested four plastic shields, one metal shield, and two sets of tanning goggles for temperature rise and light transmission when irradiated with a beam from a flashlamp-pumped, pulsed-dye laser.
The temperature rise at the surface of the shield opposite the laser impacts was no more than 0.2°C in any case. White light was transmitted at significant levels through several of the shields, but yellow light transmittance was noted only through the green eye shield.
Our measurements indicate that all except the green shield appeared safe from transmission of the 585-nm radiant energy. However, the optimal laser eye shield, in our opinion, would be a composite of several different shields' characteristics.