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Can you actually get blind from a solar eclipse?

Can you actually get blind from a solar eclipse?

Exposing your eyes to the sun without proper eye protection during a solar eclipse can cause “eclipse blindness” or retinal burns, also known as solar retinopathy. This exposure to the light can cause damage or even destroy cells in the retina (the back of the eye) that transmit what you see to the brain.

How long does it take to get blind from the solar eclipse?

The biggest risk you expose yourself to if you stare at the sun during a solar eclipse is retinopathy. This is when solar radiation damages the retinas. The effects of retinopathy become noticeable after 4 to 6 hours, but they may take as long as 12 hours to appear for some people.

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How common is eye damage after a solar eclipse?

Scientists don’t have a good bead on the prevalence of eye damage after a solar eclipse. In one study, conducted in 1999 after a solar eclipse visible in Europe, 45 patients with possible solar retinopathy showed up at an eye clinic in Leicester in the United Kingdom after viewing the eclipse.

What happens to your eyes when you look at an eclipse?

For example, in a 2002 study, 13 out of 15 patients in England with solar retinopathy resulting from viewing an eclipse in 1999 had normal vision in an eye exam eight to 12 months later. Still, even some patients with normal vision in an eye test had subtle eye symptoms, such as a small blind spot in their vision.

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What are the symptoms of solar retinopathy after an eclipse?

These symptoms can include the following: People who experience discomfort or vision problems after an eclipse should visit an eye doctor for an eye exam, according to the American Optometric Association. Fortunately, many people with solar retinopathy recover from their symptoms, but some have lasting vision problems.

Did you see the solar eclipse without eye protection?

The solar eclipse wowed viewers across the United States today (Aug. 21) as it passed from the West Coast to the East Coast. As millions tried to catch a glimpse of the phenomenon, many may have taken a peek without proper eye protection, either intentionally or by accident.