National News

Eye doctors expecting visits following eclipse viewing

Posted August 22

— Now that the eclipse is over, some eye doctors and optometrists are getting ready for an influx of calls.

If you did look up directly at the sun, doctors said you could notice some serious effects in the coming days.

Dr. Steven Berger of Baystate Eye Group told Western Mass News that the office is getting ready for what's to come post solar eclipse.

"Additional visits, phone calls, and patients who may be concerned, and a small percentage will likely have some eye damage that we'll have to deal with."

Dr. Berger said that if you did look at the eclipse without the proper eye glasses, you could start to see the effects very soon.

"Some temporary irritation that could start 12-24 hours later. That will improve, but patients that have pain, redness, light sensitivity, discomfort, may want to consult an eye care professional."

If you looked at the eclipse unprotected, chances are it was for more than a few seconds.

That's where things could get serious.

"People won't see it instantly, but anywhere from about 10 to 12 hours, up to a day, day and a half, and they may notice some central blurriness, difficulty seeing facial features in the mirror, details and numbers."

Over at Ken's Eyewear in Springfield, their phones have been busy.

"If you have a retinal injury, that's something that is specifically dealt with by a retinal specialist, a surgeon. That's not something a pair of eye glasses will repair or correct," said Larry Pion.

And you may be thinking, how will I have any more damage than when I look up at the sun every day?

"It's the sustained viewing for this unusual phenomenon that could create the damage into the retina. Anyone that is naive enough to go out on a non-eclipse day and stare at the sun will have the same negative consequences."


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