Aftermath of the Great American Eclipse may include eye damage

NOW: Aftermath of the Great American Eclipse may include eye damage


SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- As the entire nation looked up at the sky in awe Monday afternoon, for the Great American Eclipse, some woke up Tuesday morning, to some eye problems. 

Despite many warning, some people went against the advice of medical professionals, and didn't wear the special ISO certified solar eclipse glasses.

And people are already seeing changes in their vision. 

A black hole.

That's what may have changed in some people's vision, if they were one of the many people who chose to look at the solar eclipse, without the proper protection.

"You actually burn your retina, so you'll have a dark spot in your vision in the shape of the eclipse essentially," explains Dr. Steve Gerber, an ophthalmologist with Advanced Ophthalmology in South Bend.

The practice has already received one phone call from a patient, concerned with eye damage.

"[She] said she looked into the solar eclipse, even though she knew she shouldn't, and she was seeing a lot of spots and such in her vision," explains Dr. Gerber. "It's still early. We may hear more later." 

He wasn't surprised that people took such a big risk with their eyes.

"You just knew someone would say 'I wanted to look at it and see what happened. You just kinda shake your head," adds Dr. Gerber. 

Even with the certified ISO glasses, people have been complaining that something feels wrong with their vision.

"A lot of people said their eyes felt funny afterwards. But I don't know that there is any objective measure of anything going on," he explains. 

But for those who thought they got the right glasses, only to find they were fakes?

It's almost as bad as not having any protection at all. 

"If they're not real, ISO dark enough, [people] are going to have spots in their vision, and possible permanent vision problems, depending on how long they looked," says Dr. Gerber. "Because you don't feel pain with your retina and with those glasses, you don't feel the brightness, so you're really staring at it."

Google searches about eye damage from the solar eclipse, peaked just one hour after the eclipse.

People, flocking to the internet, to ask why do their eyes hurt, and signs of eye damage from the sun.

Dr.Gerber says people are probably fine, unless they see a change in their vision.

"If you're not seeing as well as you were before, especially if there is a specific spot in your vision," he explains. "They should contact their eye doctor."

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