Did you damage your eyes during the solar eclipse?

Published 7:00 am Thursday, August 24, 2017

The Great American Eclipse has come and gone. It is apparent that most people looked at the sun during the incident. I mean, how could you resist?

But for those who stared too long without proper protection may notice their head or eyes hurt and are now worried they might have suffered eye damage.

The volume of warnings about looking at the solar eclipse with the naked eye were overwhelming. Many vision scientists say it’s not likely that you will suffer any trauma if you only looked for a fraction of a second.

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The sun is not any more damaging during an eclipse than it is on any ordinary day, but you are much more tempted to look at it for longer, hence the concern.

A chief of ophthalmology said no matter where you were, if you glanced at the solar eclipse for a brief second, nothing will happen. Five seconds, it’s not likely, but 10 seconds of staring at the eclipse is too long. And if you continuously stared at the eclipse for 20 seconds, you should probably pay your ophthalmologist or optometrist a visit.

But to know if you have suffered damage from glancing at the solar eclipse takes time. Scientists say it takes roughly 12 hours for symptoms of permanent damage to become apparent. These symptoms include blurred vision or a spot at the center of your field of vision. Multiple spots can also be seen as a symptom.

Again, if you were brief in viewing the eclipse without protection, the chances serious damage occurred to your eyes are minimal, but any damage that might have been occurred to your vision is likely irreversible.

If you feel you suffered retinal damage caused by looking at a solar eclipse see your eye doctor immediately.