An unfortunate memento of the total eclipse: Eye damage

Rodiano Bonacci
Dicembre 8, 2017

The US will see another total solar eclipse in 2024, so let this serve as a warning - the sun is no joke and you need eye protection if you're going to look at it, eclipse or no.

Study author, Dr Avnish Deobhakta, of the Icahn School of Medicine, highlighted that it was the first time eye injuries from a solar eclipse had been imaged in such detail.

Eye specialists at major medical centers in Oregon, Kansas and Pennsylvania said in interviews this week that they encountered cases of eclipse-related eyestrain, but none so severe or well-documented as the plight of the woman in NY who last August made the mistake of borrowing sunglasses from a stranger to watch the celestial show.

New York Eye and Ear Infirmary specialists examined her three days later and found she had burned a hole in her retinas.

There's no treatment for this type of damage but getting a good look at what exactly is affected in the eye after staring at the sun could help ophthalmologists better understand this condition.

The scientists were able to use adaptive optics to obtain high-resolution images of the damage to her photoreceptors.

Four hours later, the patient developed blurry distortion in both eyes and could only see colour and black.

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