At the Illinois Eye and Ear Infirmary at the University of Illinois at the Chicago College of Medicine, a front-desk employee says he’s gotten calls from patients afraid that they’re experiencing eclipse-related eye damage.
“It’s mostly been for burning and pain,” said the employee, who estimated that the clinic has gotten about a dozen eclipse-related calls in the last few days. “We have them come in.”
Following last Monday’s historic solar eclipse, those who fear they looked directly at the sun and permanently damaged their eyes are posting on social media, doing Google searches and calling doctors.
According to an article posted last week on the American Academy of Ophthalmology website, there have been no confirmed cases of eclipse-related vision loss, but 10 concerned people sought advice at a triage area at Vanderbilt Eye Institute in Nashville.
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Eye pain or discomfort probably aren’t signs of eclipse damage, because the retina doesn’t have pain nerves, according to the article. Instead, the article says, be on the lookout for symptoms such as:
▪ Blurry vision.
▪ A blind spot in your central vision; this can be in one or both eyes.
▪ Increased sensitivity to light.
▪ Distorted vision: A straight line might look like it’s bending, or a door jamb could look curvy.
▪ Changes in the way you see color.
It’s important to see a doctor if you have eclipse-related eye damage, the article says. He or she can measure the extent of the problem. Many people recover within months, but some experience a permanent blind spot or visual distortion.