• Controversy exists as to whether a standard laser pointer can cause serious retinal damage.
• Unrelated controversy also exists as to whether health care reform will further limit patient contact time at the expense of high quality patient care.
• In our high tech world, do we need to choose between a time consuming comprehensive patient history and highly revealing imaging devices?
• In the first case that follows, imaging devices, a second more comprehensive history and lots of luck led to the diagnosis.
• From this case and others in the recent ophthalmic literature, it appears that commonplace and inexpensive laser pointers can indeed result in irreversible retinal damage.