DOI: 10.4103/ijo.ijo_499_23 ISSN: 0301-4738

An outbreak of subhyaloid hemorrhage after accidental laser exposure during an Indian festival

Rachana Prashant Shah, Zeenal George Dabre, Sabyasachi Sengupta
  • Ophthalmology


To report the clinical manifestations and outcomes of patients who experienced retinal damage due to accidental laser exposure during a festival in Kolhapur, Maharashtra.


Consecutive patients who presented with sudden loss of vision following exposure to laser lights during a religious Indian festival (Ganapati festival) on the same day (9 September 2022) at the same location (idol visarjan procession) were identified from the medical records of various eye hospitals in Kolhapur district of Maharashtra. Eyes with persistent subhyaloid hemorrhage (SHH) were taken up for neodymium-doped yttrium aluminum garnet (Nd: YAG) posterior hyaloidotomy. Patients were examined at weekly intervals up to 1 month.


Thirty-four eyes of 34 men were identified with age ranging from 18 to 27 years. The mean duration of exposure to the laser projections was 4.9 ± 1.7 h, and the mean distance from the laser source was 7.3 ± 2.7 feet. All presented with SHH involving the macula. SHH had a median size of 3 disc diameters or larger in 30 eyes (88%), and 29 (97%) of these required hyaloidotomy while one patient underwent pars plana vitrectomy. The mean visual acuity improved from 1.45 ± 0.5 log of minimum angle of resolution (logMAR; 20/560 Snellen) to 0.11 ± 0.19 logMAR (20/25 Snellen) (P < 0.001). One eye showed full-thickness macular hole with visual acuity of 20/200.


We report a large number of patients experiencing laser-induced SHH, resembling an outbreak, due to exposure to a malfunctioning high-powered recreational laser during a religious festival.

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