Can you receive permanent eye damage from IPL lasers without eye protection?

During a laser hair removal treatment, the physician accidentally activated the laser while I was looking directly at it. Both of us were not wearing any eye protection. She was standing about 2 feet away from me, but I still watched the glass turn bright red while the bright flash was emitted. Should I worry about permanent eye damage? I didn't see any spots afterwards which I suppose is a good thing. Thank you!

Doctor Answers 6

Can you receive permanent eye damage from IPL lasers without eye protection?

Thanks for your query. No once exposure to laser will not make any difference. It does not cause any permanent damage. It might cause darkening for a while and then it gets back to normal. Hope it helps.

All The Best

India Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 132 reviews

Eye damage with IPL

Thank you for your question Ms.MMB. I am sorry to hear about your situation. IPL is a light-based treatment to address various concerns for rejuvenation of the face and other areas. Really the only way one can get damage to the eye is if the IPL is directly over the eye without eye protection. Some physicians actually use the IPL without wearing eye protection themselves while within a foot of the light source. This allows them to visualize the skin better and I have not heard of eye damage in such cases. Please consult with a doctor for specific recommendations.  Good luck!

Alex Eshaghian, MD, PhD
Encino Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Should be ok!

Thanks for submitting your question.  The "laser" used for hair removal is actually visible light and not a true laser.  The light can be absorbed by the pigment in your iris which could be an issue, but if you haven't noted a problem at this point, you should be ok!  Hope this helps!  Dr. L

Eye injury after IPL?

Hello, and thanks for your question. You would probably be noticing problems if your eyes were injured by the incident. You are much less likely to have sustained an eye injury from IPL than you might have been from an actual laser. Either way, this is why it is important to leave any device on stand-by until everyone in the room has eye protection. Best of luck, Dr. Frucht.  

Corey Frucht, MD, PhD
Santa Barbara Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

IPL is a photofacial -- get Fraxel with Microneedling or combine with IPL and microneedling/PRP

Eye burns will be noticeable immediately most likely if there truly was a problem.  I suggest getting an eye exam if you are concerned.  Best, Dr. Emer.

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 158 reviews

Can IPL damage my eyes?

This is a very good question. It is not likely to cause any harm from that distance, but there are reports of eye reactions and/ or damage after IPL. Discuss with your treating physician or an eye specialist if you are concerned.

Jeffrey M. Joseph, MD
Newport Beach Oculoplastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.