So, you were lucky enough to get a glimpse of the solar eclipse. But how do you know if you damaged your eyes?
You’ll know, said Dr. Jeffrey Gross, who specializes in retinal care at Carolina Retina Center.
You’ll experience blurry vision, a loss of contrast or color vision, distortion, and you may see a spot in your vision.
“It would be similar to a flashbulb going off in your face,” Gross said
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And those symptoms may not show up for a couple of days, said Dr. Lisa Niven, an optometrist with USC-Palmetto Health.
“And unfortunately, there is no treatment for solar retinopathy,” she said.
What you won’t have is any pain or symptoms like headaches.
“There are no pain fibers in the retina,” Gross said.
The easiest way to have injured your eyes was by staring directly at a partial eclipse, or having ineffective eclipse glasses. And some may have removed their glasses too soon before the total eclipse arrived or were a little tardy putting them back on.
The total eclipse lasted for “a very, very brief period,” Gross said.
In extreme cases, you could burn a hole in the center of your retina, he said. In minor cases the symptoms could be “transient,” meaning they’ll decrease with time.
If you think you have injured your eyes, you should see an ophthalmologist.
“But if they had proper eclipse glasses and used common sense, they are probably fine,” Gross said.