AUG 22, 2017 5:49 AM PDT

How to Spot Eye Damage from the Solar Eclipse

WRITTEN BY: Xuan Pham

Hundreds of millions of Americans experienced the solar eclipse on Monday. Undoubtedly, not everyone (e.g., Donald Trump) followed the advice to wear proper eye protection when viewing the eclipse.

The safety recommendation is not without cause. There are over 100 documented cases of eye damage related to the solar eclipse phenomenon. People with this type of damage, called solar retinopathy, often report blurry vision and loss of fine visual details. Although the effects may not lead to complete blindness, the vision impairments may be permanent.

For those who saw the eclipse through the lens of ultra-dark "solar-viewing glasses" - you probably don't have anything to worry about. For those who snuck a peek at the eclipse with naked eyes for more than a few seconds, here's what to watch out for: Blurry vision, white spots, and increased sensitivity.

These symptoms may take a few days to take effect. If you're in doubt, go get checked by an optometrist. And while you're at it, go ahead and buy a pair of eclipse-rated glasses for the next event, scheduled to occur in 2024.
About the Author
  • I am a human geneticist, passionate about telling stories to make science more engaging and approachable. Find more of my writing at the Hopkins BioMedical Odyssey blog and at TheGeneTwist.com.
You May Also Like
JAN 23, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
JAN 23, 2020
Meet SF6, Our Frenemy in Fighting Climate Change
Sulfur hexafluoride, or SF6, is a non-flammable, non-toxic, synthetic gas. First discovered back in 1901, this odorless and colorless gas is commonly used...
JAN 26, 2020
Space & Astronomy
JAN 26, 2020
How Much Do You Know About the Planet Mercury?
Mercury is the solar system’s smallest planet, and it’s also the one residing closest to the Sun. But while Mercury is commonly shrugged off as...
FEB 11, 2020
Plants & Animals
FEB 11, 2020
How the World's Fastest Cat Compares to the World's Fastest Dog
Cheetahs are the world’s fastest land animal; their powerful hind legs give them incredible launching power and their stretchy spines provide a massi...
FEB 20, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
FEB 20, 2020
Methane-fueled Commerical Production of Biodegradable Plastics in Sight
Plastics, the petroleum-based, very poorly degradable polymers, make up almost everything in our society from water bottles, food packing, disposable utens...
MAR 01, 2020
Plants & Animals
MAR 01, 2020
These Insects Blend in with the Leaves They Cling to
There are a lot of animals on Earth that use camouflage to blend in with their surroundings, but perhaps one of the better examples of this in action is th...
MAR 17, 2020
Plants & Animals
MAR 17, 2020
The Common Roly Poly Isn't Actually an Insect
Most people assume that pill bugs, which are more colloquially referred to as ‘roly polies,’ are insects. But while you might find these little...
Loading Comments...