Three Warning Signs That You Damaged Your Eyes During the Eclipse

August 22, 2017


Admit it: You probably looked at at the eclipse yesterday without glasses. It was probably just for a millisecond, but you likely did it. 

Jacob Chung, chief of ophthalmology at the Englewood Hospital in New Jersey, told USA Today that you are probably fine if you looked at the sun for a seconds. If you looked the sun for more than 10 seconds then you're approaching the territory where you may have done damage to your eyes. That damage can be permanent in some cases. 

So how can you tell if you hurt your eyes during the eclipse? Experts say it takes about 12 hours for the first symptoms to show up if you did any damage to your eyes yesterday. Not all symptoms involve pain or blurred vision right away, so read through this entire list to be sure that your eyes are definitely OK. 

Here are some of the warning signs:

Eye Pain -
You'd likely notice experience pain within 24 hours of the eclipse IF you were going to experience any pain or discomfort in your eyes. Experts say that if you have any pain in your eyes (at all) today, you should contact your optometrist immediately.

Your optometrist may refer to you to ophthalmologist. 

Light Sensitivity - 
If your eyes are sensitive to light today that may only be temporary. You'll want to rest your eyes, and call the eye doctor to be sure that you're safe. It's important to note: light sensitivity isn't always associated with eye pain.  

Some of this damage can be permanent, of course, too.

Impaired or Blurred Vision -
Yes, the warnings before the eclipse were true. You could totally go partially blind from looking at the sun yesterday.

The symptoms vary quite a bit: it may mean you have a spot in one of your eyes or it may mean that you're struggling to read today.

Unfortunately, there is no treatment as your retina as been permanently damaged. Again, however, we cannot stress enough that you should call your optometrist. Impaired or blurred vision isn't always accompanied by eye pain.  

Testing Your Eyes- 
You can print off an Amsler Grid to test your vision today.  That site also has instructions on how to complete this test. The Amsler grid is used by eye doctors to detect vision problems that originated in the retina or optic nerve.  This grid probably should not be used to self-diagnose problems, but it may put your mind at ease.