Can Flashbangs Blind you? While flashbangs are incredibly dangerous and can cause blindness, deafness, and brain trauma at the same time.
They cannot cause permanent damage to your vision. Depending on different conditions, a person may experience different levels of vision loss.
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What are Flashbangs? Can Flashbangs Blind you?
Flashbangs are explosive self-defense devices that produce extremely high levels of light and noise to disorientate someone temporarily. The devices are equipped with incredibly powerful lights that can produce a flash of up to 12 million lumens.
For comparison, a set of car headlights produce nearly 2000-4000 lumens only. Moreover, the flash is made up of magnesium-based chemicals that react to give off a very concentrated projection that can cause complete blindness for a short period of time.
While flashbangs are incredibly dangerous and can cause blindness, deafness, and brain trauma at the same time, they cannot cause permanent damage to your vision. Depending on different conditions, a person may experience different levels of vision loss.
The distance from flashbang, size of space, surrounding environment, and even the quality of the device can impact how severely someone is blinded. Below are some of the common implications of flashbangs and how they relate to causing temporary blindness.
How Do Flashbangs Blind You?
The main reason flashbangs cause temporary blindness is due to overload on the photoreceptors in the eye. These photoreceptors are responsible for reflecting light within the eyes to communicate different colors and create images.
When too much light is bombarded at these receptors, the excessive exposure causes them to shut down. The good news is that permanent or life-changing blindness is never caused this way. Blindness is a scientific term for serious vision impairment caused by internal damage within one or many parts of the eye.
Some of the factors that determine how badly your vision is affected by flashbangs are explained below:
A flashbang can only cause blindness if you are within a given range. It’s important to remember that such devices are designed to help a person defend themselves from an attacker and therefore work within a close range only.
Depending on the device’s capabilities, it can have an effective range of 5 meters to even 30 meters. However, most flashbangs can only cause significant damage if you are within the 5-8 meters range.
Another factor includes the size of the space where the flashbang is detonated. Multiple training sessions and personal anecdotes have shown that the damage can be much more severe if detonation occurs in an enclosed space.
This is because there are fewer surrounding elements to absorb the light. Mirrors are one of the best light absorbers and therefore are a great thing to have when experimenting with such devices. There is also a common misconception that the flash will not be blinding if you do not look right into it. However, this is not true, and the experience can vary for different people.
Detonation is how someone sets off the flashbang, including the angle, distance, and safety protocols used. What differentiates a flashbang from any other self-defense or disorientating device is its explosive nature.
Unless dealt with care, the impact of an explosion can cause multiple brain injuries and trauma that can lead to further complications. Because it employs a multi-dimensional attack where both flash, noise, and concussion waves are released at once, your ears and eyeballs are actually at risk of being permanently damaged.
While there have not been any recorded cases of permanent blindness due to such explosives, multiple cases of death have been reported.
To understand the damage a flashbang can cause, it’s important to first differentiate between some common types. Flashbangs are usually used by the military and other law enforcement departments to disorientate people without harming them.
These are military-grade flashbangs and therefore require higher levels of care with detonation. However, the power and blindness caused by different military-grade flashbangs can also vary. For example, the flashbangs intended for use in war or other high-stake defense often carry larger explosive chemicals and higher lumens.
On the other hand, civilian flashbangs are standard self-defense devices designed for minimal damage. Another feature of civilian flashbangs includes the safety of surrounding people. For this reason, the possibility of any long-term damage from such flashbangs is rare.
There is no chance that flashbangs, even when projected at a very close range, can cause permanent blindness. Even in the most severe cases, they are only capable of blinding you for a few minutes. However, they are not to be taken lightly and should be avoided in all cases.
Also, you have to check out my post on the 10 Adaptive Equipment For Blinds & Visually Impaired.
Blindness should be the least of one’s concerns when dealing with a flashbang. The main danger of these devices is the explosives that send out concussive waves capable of causing permanent brain trauma. Another thing to remember is that the explosives can tear up your eardrums and damage the eyeballs with just the noise they produce.