Solar eclipse sparks panic over eye damage

TAMPA (WFLA) — Just one day after the solar eclipse in the United States, people around the country are concerned they may have eye damage.

Although there were warnings for months leading up to the rare moment, not everyone listened. Doctors say if you’re still feeling the effects today, there’s likely damage and you should get checked out immediately.

Millions watched the rare moment in history on Monday as the moon completely covered the sun in some areas across the nation. In other parts of the country, like Tampa Bay, people had all eyes to the sky to see a partial eclipse.

For months people were warned to not look into the sky without protection.

“That bright UV light burns the photoreceptors. So it’s not actually burning a hole in the eye, it’s damaging the receptors in the center vision that’s responsible for fine vision,” said Janet Traynom, a certified ophthalmic technician.

But there’s one, or thousands in every crowd, that didn’t listen.

“There may be people that are not coming forward that have symptoms. They may be embarrassed because they were warned and didn’t follow the cautions,” Traynom said.

For them, that means this moment in history will impact them for forever.

“If you’re reading a line on a paper you may see a blacked out area in the center where you’re looking. It won’t be off to the side it will be right in the center vision,” said Traynom.

While nothing can be done to fix a hole burned in the retina, there are some protective measures that can be taken.

“Just a general UV protection is good to have from the sun. As a general rule, no one should be looking at the sun whether there is an eclipse or not,” said Traynom.

If you’re wondering if you have damage, wonder no more. Doctors say the damage is pretty obvious.

“They will notice today when they pick up their newspaper. When they go to look at the computer to go check the news, I think it will be evident today,” said Traynom.


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