The new parents had just enjoyed an afternoon introducing their infant to other family members when they noticed there was something wrong with their unnamed boy’s eyes. He struggled to open them, and they began oozing and crusting over.
Concerned for this obscure reaction, the parents rushed him to his pediatrician, who delivered some unfortunate news no parent wants to hear about their brand new baby. The infant had allegedly suffered irreparable damage to both eyes, rendering him permanently blind in his right eye and suffering reduced vision in the left eye. The cause was traced back to one simple act everyone does — taking a photo of the baby.
According to the family, the relative had gotten too close to the infant with the camera and also forgot to turn the flash off. The baby’s eyes almost instantly reacted to the bright light after his close up, when the picture was taken about 10 inches from his little face. Although this incident happened in China, the warning is relevant for all parents, friends, and relatives everywhere, since picture-taking is a more common practice than ever with the convenience of cameras with flashes on cellphones.
A recent study has shown that LED lights, like the kind used in a camera flash, have potential to cause damage to the human eye, according to Live Science.
“Eyes are not designed to look directly at light — they are designed to see with light,” Dr. Celia Sánchez-Ramos said.
Her comments are based in part on a 2012 study she co-authored, published in the journal Photochemistry and Photobiology. That study found that LED radiation caused significant damage to human retinal pigment epithelial cells in vitro.
According to the claim, the doctor informed the new parents that the fast, intense flash had “damaged cells on the macula, which is the part of the eye where incoming light rays are focused,” the Daily Mail reported. Sadly, the harm was done in that instant and could not be remedied with surgery. Their little boy would forever suffer the consequences of a common oversight while snapping a picture.
According to Inquisitr:
The baby’s injury has sparked quite a debate as many readers argue that the dangers of flash photography aren’t exactly supported by factual research. Although permanent eye damage from flash photography may be considered a rare occurence, a number of health experts argue that it is possible.
Just like with every part of a new baby’s body, the eyes are especially fragile and easily harmed through even the simplest means. Physicians warn that bright vanity lights in the bathroom can hurt an infant’s eyes if they glance at it for a split second while taking bath. While rare, it’s important to be aware of the risk and either replace vanity bulbs with a dimmer wattage or face the baby in a different direction.