In 1990, after the detection of impairment of colour discrimination in laser operators, the College of Ophthalmologists recommended safety guidelines for the use of lasers. We measured the effectiveness of these guidelines and their impact on ophthalmological practice in the United Kingdom. Previously, in ophthalmologists not following the guidelines, there was a deterioration in colour discrimination after a laser session. No such deterioration was found in 10 ophthalmologists tested who adhered to the guidelines, but their colour discrimination was significantly worse than that of controls. Replies to a questionnaire disclosed that one third of senior ophthalmologists were unaware of the practices recommended.
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