BACKGROUND. Laser eye protection has been designed to protect operators and patients from severe eye injuries. OBJECTIVE. To describe two cases in which lasers used for cutaneous therapy may have been associated with the induction of vitreous floaters, a subacute eye injury, in physicians operating these devices, and to review the theoretical feasibility of such injuries, prior reports of the same, and strategies for minimizing risk. METHODS. Report of two cases and review of the literature. RESULTS. Given the circumstantial evidence, it is possible that subacute vitreous injuries may be sustained by the operators of dermatologic lasers. Ex vivo experiments and previous case reports have demonstrated the possibility of laser-induced vitreous injury, including changes in vitreous conformation and vitreous hemorrhage, in the absence of permanent retinal deficits. It may be speculated that vitreous floaters are a milder manifestation of such subacute injuries. CONCLUSION. To the extent that vitreous floaters can multiply and presage the onset of severe retinal injury, the risk of their induction by dermatologic lasers should be minimized. Simple strategies and further research can help achieve this goal.
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