Medicine

If you looked, did you damage your eyes during the eclipse?

If you looked, did you damage your eyes during the eclipse?

The sun's brightness is enough that staring at it for even a short period of time it can produce enough light to damage individual retinal cells, a more serious condition known as solar retinopathy. The other, burning of the back of the eye, the retina. A mere five had "visible damage to their retinas".

Deobhakta, a retinal specialist, said Tuesday that some 15 patients had come in complaining of such post-eclipse issues as blurred vision and light sensitivity. The bad news is that any lingering problems beyond that were likely permanent. Adherents of sun-worshipping religious sects are also victims. "However I do see and treat many cases that are very similar to solar retinopathy every day".

In this May 20, 2012, file photo, the annular solar eclipse is seen as the sun sets behind the Rocky Mountains from downtown Denver. With the sun nearly covered, it's comfortable to stare, and protective reflexes like blinking and pupil contraction are a lot less likely to kick in than on a normal day.

If a hole has burned through the retina, surgery can help close it, but it does not necessarily improve the blind spot, Emerson said.

There's no specific treatment for solar retinopathy, although doctors can accurately diagnose it with today's available technology. Thomas Harriot, who observed sunspots in 1610 but did not publish his discovery, wrote in 1612 that after viewing the sun his "sight was dim for an hour". Children were looking up at the sun as well. Everyone had their eyes toward the sky for the August 21 solar eclipse. Forty were confirmed to have some sort of damage or symptoms of damage; five of those had visible changes in their retina.

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"You might notice a blurry spot in your central vision".

If there is damage, it might get better over several months but it is essentially irreversible.

If you're still psyching yourself out, consider this study that looked into the "symptoms of 45 patients who reported to an eye center at a Leicester, U.K. hospital after viewing the 1999 solar eclipse".

Scientists and medical professionals warned staring directly into the sun-for even just a moment-without protective eyewear could cause permanent damage.

Adults are not the only ones that could have damaged their eyes Monday.