Published: Thu, August 24, 2017
Hi-Tech | By Merle Christensen

How to know if the solar eclipse damaged your eyes

How to know if the solar eclipse damaged your eyes

VIDEO: Watch 2017 total solar eclipse These symptoms may go away in a day or two. There are no pain receptors inside the eye, so you won't notice any discomfort.

If you happened to look up at the solar eclipse on Monday, then it's probably because you didn't read this article on Friday.

President Donald Trump, without protective glasses, gestures at the White House on Monday as he and first lady Melania Trump viewed the solar eclipse.

He said if you're still concerned, see a doctor. The phenomenon, known as "eclipse blindness" can be temporary or permanent and the scary part is, you won't know it's happening until it's too late.

If you have kids or know someone who can't express themselves very well it's better to be safe than sorry.

Light sensitivity is another big one.

If you do think you might have symptoms of solar retinopathy, doctors say call for an appointment. Symptoms of solar retinopathy include "central graying and fuzziness of vision", according to the federal National Eye Institute.

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The retina is most at risk.

Staring directly at an eclipse - or at the sun at any other time - can damage your vision.

Unfortunately, this kind of retinal injury isn't treatable, he added. "It is more common in younger patients because they do not have cataracts like older patients, and cataracts can block some of the damaging rays".

But that daredevil impulse unleashed a torrent of post-eclipse worries on Tuesday, namely: Did I wreck my eyes? And everyone in North America got the chance to see at least a partial eclipse, according to NASA. The infrared light does not literally burn the eye, but rather the light stimulation induces harmful chemical changes to the eye, said Dr. Stanley Chang, a professor of ophthalmology at Columbia University, who was quoted by The New York Times. Nor will looking at it through a device like an unfiltered camera, smartphone, or telescope.

"What it does is actually damages the cells in your retina, those are the cells in the back of your eye that provide fine vision and it can do permanent damage to those cells if you stare at the sun for long periods of time", said Williams.

The only safe way to view a partially eclipsed sun is through special-purpose solar filters, such as "eclipse glasses" or viewers that meet global standard ISO 12312-2 for safe viewing.

Mylar filters: Aluminized mylar plastic sheets are available as eclipse vision glasses or can be cut and made into a viewing box.

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