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Symptoms of Possible Eye Damage After Watching Solar Eclipse, According to an Ophthalmologist

Did you watch the Solar Eclipse on Monday, August 21, 2017 or have done so in the past?
Gazing into the sun even for a brief moment without wearing the correct eye wear can permanently damage your retina. The retina, which is in the back of the eye, has light-sensitive tissue. Retina damage could even result in blindness also known as solar retinopathy.

After looking at a solar eclipse without protective solar eclipse glasses, you may notice your vision becoming gray and fuzzy. This may be due to solar retinopathy which happens when sun rays burns and possibly scar the retina.

It is important to protect your eyes from these harmful rays by viewing the solar eclipse using special-purpose solar filters. Regular sunglasses do not provide the same level of protection as standardized solar filters, known as “eclipse glasses.” You can check the quality of your filter by making sure it meets this certification ISO 12312-2 certification.

Also, avoid using damaged solar filters, everyday sunglasses, looking between your fingers or watching through a pinhole.

Solar Eclipse Eye Problems

If for some reason, you experienced the solar eclipse without using the proper eye protection, then it is recommended to visit an eye doctor. Make note of any symptoms you encountered and come prepared with a list of questions.

Ultraviolet Light Symptoms:

You may experience sore, blurry, or bloodshot eyes as well as any of these eye symptoms below after viewing the solar eclipse with improper eye protection.

  • Mild / Severe Pain
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Light sensitivity
  • Watery eyes
  • Blurry vision
  • Sensation of a foreign body in the eye.

However, some symptoms may not show up right away like infection. Therefore, it is best practices to have a follow-up visit with an Ophthalmologist such as South Texas Eye Institute in San Antonio to properly address your vision problem.

Most often, the cornea heals without scarring and repairs itself in one to two days. It may help decrease irritation if you remove your contacts, wear shades, and use artificial tears.
Be sure to check with an Ophthalmologist first before changing your eye care routine and follow all advice given to prevent further damage.

It is important to get your eye care concerns addressed in a timely manner because it could reveal unrelated eye issues that you may not have noticed otherwise. This includes vision fluctuating from cataracts, diabetes, glaucoma, or macular degeneration.

Some possible questions to ask the doctor are:

  • What is causing my my symptoms?
  • Do you have any prevention tips?
  • What should I do if my drops have worn off?
  • Could any vision loss develop?
  • What activities should I avoid and when can I presume them?