There are a lot of controversies surrounding this topic and the Internet being what it has always been most people actually believe that Camera flashes can damage their eyes. In the real sense, extremely bright light can hurt the eyes, but its intensity alone does not warrant permanent retinal damage. When it comes to eye damages, Camera flashes should be the least of your worries. Here is why a Camera Flash won’t damage your eyes.
→ Brief Length of Exposure: Despite being significantly bright, a camera's flash either from your SLR or smartphone Camera only lasts for a fraction of a second. In this short time frame, the flash cannot cause any significant damages to your eyes. Usually, a camera’s LED flash lasts no more than 1/200 of a second. Exposure to multiple camera flashes, like in the case of celebrities and models can only make up to 1/50th of a second. This is not enough to cause any serious retinal damage.
→ Low intensity: Camera flashes are not precisely super intense. Yes, they might cause split second blindness, or what photographers call flash blindness, but this does not amount to permanent retinal damage. Generally, the light intensity of a camera flash is only enough to photo-bleach rhodopsin in the eye. Rhodopsin is a light-sensitive biological pigment found in the retina.
This pigment is only meant to facilitate vision even in low-light conditions. When the light from a camera flash hits the retina, rhodopsin photobleaches. This is what brings about flash blindness. This effect, however, lasts within a twinkling of an eye. As soon as rhodopsin builds up again, you can see clearly once again.
Therefore, flash photography cannot definitively damage your eyes.