National News

Solar eclipse: Eye damage can show later

Posted August 22

— The solar eclipse captured the attention of folks around the country, "I was so excited to see it," said Isabella Troya, who borrowed solar glasses, but also brought her homemade pinhole projector.

"I think this is the safest bet," said Isabella's father, Danny Troya, about the projector.

But, if you didn't heed the warnings, or you fear your child looked at the sun when you told them not to, you may start seeing symptoms of retina burn in the coming weeks.

"I would never look into the sun," said Micheal Velasquez, who trusted the solar spectacles he bought on Amazon.

"Those glasses are made for a purpose and I'm gonna use them for that," he said.

Braving the sun's rays without protection can cause serious eye damage. Dr. Don Perez, a local Ophthalmologist, showed ABC Action News a video by VueCare Media - showing how your eye may start to change if it's burned.

It takes about 7 months for a retina burn to get worse. You may start noticing blurry or distorted vision in the center of the eye. In severe cases, you can end up losing vision completely in the middle.

If that happens, it means you may have a macular hole or macular pucker.

"You would not want to live like that. That would be legally blind," said Dr. Perez.

He says if you are concerned you did damage, don't freak out. Go to an ophthalmologist and get your eyes checked. He says 90% of folks won't have permanent damage and symptoms will fade away in 7 months.

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