Eye damage from eclipse can show later: What you need to know


But if you truly did damage to your eyes by looking at the sun, you'll have vision problems.

The American Optometric Association said millions of people from OR to SC are facing the danger of eye damage when the moon covers part of the sun for 2 to 3 hours.

The condition is called solar retinopathy, and it occurs when bright light from the sun floods the retina on the back of the eyeball. "So nearly preferentially, everyone gets damage in probably the worst location, which is that part of the retina".

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If someone believes they had accidental exposure to the sun during an eclipse, they should immediately make an appointment with their doctor of optometry for a comprehensive eye exam to ensure there is no serious damage. 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. Yet, because human nature is often to do exactly what you're told not to, a lot of people (including President Trump) peered directly into the sun during the eclipse, ignoring the scores of warnings and please not to. That overloading of photo receptors can take a few minutes to recover from, but it doesn't cause any damage to your eyes.

There's no immediate pain, it just damages the tissue leading to permanent vision loss.

If over time, what are the things you should look for? But he was checking the website of The American Society of Retina Specialists, which was on the lookout for reports of solar retinopathy caused by the eclipse from doctors around the country.

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That damage that could've been done during the eclipse isn't minimal.

If you notice a problem, call your eye care provider.

"Solar retinopathy is not very common", said Dr. Jaime Membreno, an ophthalmologist at Retina Macula Specialists in Winter Park, Fla., in an email.

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That damage can take hours or days to appear. One 1995 study followed 58 patients who sustained eye damage after viewing a 1976 eclipse in Turkey. Because there are no pain sensors in the actual eye damage can only be detected once it occurs.