Date amended:
Statements of Principles
Current RMA Instruments
Changes from previous Instruments


ICD coding
ICD 10 AM code T26.3
Brief description

A retinal burn is a direct, permanent injury to the retina of the eye caused by intense light from e.g. a laser.

Confirming the diagnosis

This is a clinical diagnosis based on a report of acute onset of a visual field deficit or scotoma (loss of central vision) and examination of the retina, generally with an ophthalmoscope, slit lamp, or eye imaging equipment such as a retinal camera. 

The relevant medical specialist is an ophthalmologist or emergency physician.

Additional diagnoses covered by these SOPs
  • Macula burn
Conditions not covered by these SOPs  
  • Electrical injury to the retina*
  • Retinal burn where there is also a (simultaneous) burn to the external eye* - External burn SOP
  • Retinal burn (intentional or accidental) due to retinal laser surgery#

* another SOP applies

non-SOP condition

Clinical onset

The onset is at the time of the exposure to the intense light.

Clinical worsening

This is an acute injury that won't progress once the exposure is ceased.  The only SOP worseing factor is for inability to obtain approriate clinical management.