Tags: eclipse | solar | eyes | protection | exposure | damage | blurry

Did You Damage Your Eyes While Watching the Eclipse?

crowd looking up, watching solar eclipse
(Dreamstime)

By    |   Tuesday, 09 April 2024 09:53 AM EDT

Tens of millions of Americans enjoyed the spectacular solar eclipse Monday safely, using the recommended eyewear or pinhole viewers. However, many may have been tempted to look at sun without protection, or did it by accident. Experts warn that gazing at the sun with the naked eye or even wearing regular sunglasses can cause irreversible eye damage within seconds, says USA Today.

While there usually is no pain to signal eye damage since there are no nerve endings in the eye, the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) says visual symptoms such as blurry vision or a headache typically begin within a few to six hours after exposure but could appear after 12 hours.

These include:

• Blurry vision.

• Headache.

• A blind spot in your central vision in one or both eyes.

• Increased sensitivity to light.

• Distorted vision such as a straight line appearing bent or a door jamb looking curvy.

• Changes in your color perception called dyschromatopsia.

Most eclipse viewers will be fine even if their eyes are strained, and the effect could be temporary.

According to NPR, during the 2017 solar eclipse it’s estimated that 150 million Americans viewed the event. There were 100 documented cases of eye damage across the U.S. and Canada, while many more turned up in emergency rooms worried that they caused permanent damage to their eyes. In most cases no lasting damage occurred, say experts at the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai, one of the largest eye hospitals in the nation.

In the rare case that someone has damaged their eyes, the damage usually appears as a blurry spot in the field of vision, hours or up to days after viewing the eclipse. In about half the cases, the problem fixes itself. Some eye clinics are offering free eye exams after Monday’s solar eclipse.

So, if you are worried at all about your eyes with or without watching the eclipse, now would be a good time to schedule your annual eye exam, says NPR.

© 2024 NewsmaxHealth. All rights reserved.


Health-News
Tens of millions of Americans enjoyed the spectacular solar eclipse Monday safely, using the recommended eyewear or pinhole viewers. However, many may have been tempted to look at sun without protection, or did it by accident. Experts warn that gazing at the sun with the...
eclipse, solar, eyes, protection, exposure, damage, blurry, headache
341
2024-53-09
Tuesday, 09 April 2024 09:53 AM
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