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Have you looked at the solar eclipse too long? Doctors explain the signs of eye damage

Have you looked at the solar eclipse too long?  Doctors explain the signs of eye damage

Did you look at Solar eclipse Without your Safety glasses? Looking at the sun – even when it's partially covered like during this Solar eclipse on April 8 – It can cause eye damage.

He said there is no safe dose of solar ultraviolet or infrared radiation Dr.. Yahya Hashadan ophthalmologist, retina specialist and chief medical officer of the eye health company Bausch + Lomb.

“A very small dose can cause harm to some people,” he said. “That's why we say a partial eclipse can also be harmful. That's why we protect our eyes during partial sun as well as during full sun.”

But how do you know if you've hurt your vision? We asked ophthalmologists what they should know.

Is it a sign of eye damage if your eyes hurt after looking at the eclipse?

It probably won't hurt your eyes if you look at the eclipse without it protection – But that doesn't make it any less dangerous.

The lack of pain is actually part of the reason eye care professionals were so concerned about the event, said Dr. Jason P. Brinton, an ophthalmologist and medical director at the Eye Center. Brenton's vision In St. Louis.

“Everyone knows not to look at the sun. If you go out on a bright day and try to look at the sun — it's too uncomfortable, too bright. So most people intuitively associate that with something they shouldn't do,” Brenton said. “But with an eclipse, a lot of that is blocked, so the normal feeling of discomfort and aversion to brightness is not there.”

In some cases, the sun can also damage the cornea, which can be painful, Brinton says.

“The good news is that this heals completely without permanent problems, which is why we don't think about this aspect much. Retinal problems, on the other hand, are painless and can have lasting, lasting effects on vision.” He said.

What are other signs of eye damage from looking at a solar eclipse?

Hashad says there are some “worrying signs” to watch for, including:

  • Headache
  • Blurred vision
  • Tumors or dark spots: “You just see a black area or black dot in your field of vision,” Hashad said.
  • Color changes: “You don't see colors the same way you did before,” he said.
  • Distorted lines: Clinically, this is known as “metamorphosis,” which makes lines appear crooked, distorted, or curved, Hashad says.

“This may happen unilaterally or bilaterally,” he said. “So it doesn't necessarily happen in both eyes. It can affect one eye over the other or both eyes together.”

Problems may not appear immediately either, sometimes appearing a day or a few days after the event.

While some regain normal visual function, sometimes the damage is permanent.

“Often there will be some recovery in vision in the first few months afterward, but sometimes there is no recovery, and other times there will be a degree that is permanent,” Brinton said.

What should you do if you develop symptoms of eye damage?

If you experience any symptoms of eye damage, Hashad suggested that people “immediately” seek the advice of an eye doctor.

“I think seeing an eye care professional to enhance diagnosis and education is reasonable,” Brinton said.

Unfortunately, there is no cure for solar retinopathy, which is the official name for this condition.

“Right now, there's nothing we can do about this. Just wait and give it time and the body will heal somewhat,” Brenton explained.

Hashad explained that this is why prevention is important, and it remains “the mainstay of treatment for solar retinopathy, or damage to the retina resulting from the sun.”

How long does it take to watch a solar eclipse without glasses?

Experts said that any amount of time to watch a solar eclipse without glasses is considered a long time.

“Damage caused by a solar eclipse can occur to the retina in seconds,” Hashad said. “That's why we don't want people to stare even for a short period of time — even if for a few seconds in direct sun — whether it's eclipsed or even partially eclipsed.”

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