How to know if you hurt your eyes during eclipse

Evrard Martin
Août 23, 2017

"If they did stare at the sun for a long time it may be worth getting an exam just to make sure there's nothing wrong that they can't tell you about", said Williams.

"It can and actually usually does improve over several months, up to six months to a year, but oftentimes there's some level of permanent damage", he said.

If a person looked at that sun during an extended period of time during the eclipse without the proper protection, that person may not notice the damage right away, but it could have a long lasting effect. And there are no pain receptors in the retina, so you would not have even felt the damage occurring. "When you look directly at the sun, the intensity of the light and the focus of the light is so great on the retina that it can cook it", Dr. Christopher Quinn, president of the American Optometric Association, told CNN.

"Generally, you want to look for graying of vision, blurring of vision", Lane said. It's like a sheet of graph paper. Without proper eye protection, Dr. Weed said they would have the same symptoms as adults.

"I received a call from a woman concerning the burning in her eyes from the solar eclipse when she did not put her glasses on in time", said Alicia Bonitati at the front desk. "You can burn a hole in the retina or you can kill cells in the retina, and when those cells die it leaves an empty space, and unfortunately those cells don't grow back". "They said it burned their solar glasses".

Reports of solar retinopathy are common among patients who are on drugs or have psychiatric problems because they often stare at the sun, even when it hurts. One 1995 study followed 58 patients who sustained eye damage after viewing a 1976 eclipse in Turkey.

Looking at the sun directly can also cause solar retinopathy, which is retinal damage from exposure to solar radiation.

"It can happen really from any where from I would say just a few minutes to an hour of looking at the sun".

So, all you concerned eclipse watchers with eye pain?

Eyewitness News spoke with an optometrist in CT on Tuesday and got a look at just how risky staring at the sun can be for a person's eyes.

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