Eye damage from eclipse can show later: What you need to know

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Eye damage from eclipse can show later: What you need to know

If you damaged your eyes during the eclipse it might take a while before you see symptoms.

The first full solar eclipse in 99 years happened this afternoon, and residents across the Dayton region came out to watch the event.

Those who didn’t use certified eclipse viewing glasses or alternative methods like a pinhole projector risked injuring their eyes and possible permanent damage.

But it might take a while for that damage to show. Dr. Brian Pennington, emergency room physician with Sycamore Medical Center said he hadn’t seen any patients yet with injuries related to the eclipse as of Monday afternoon, but the symptoms tend to be delayed with showing.

“It does take about anywhere from eight to 12 hours after the initial exposure to really develop the symptoms,” he said.

He said with the sun partially obscured, people can stand looking at the sun for longer, which can lead to someone staring at the sun long enough to cause temporary or permanent damage. Some symptoms could be feeling like there is a foreign object in your eye, redness, dryness, pain or even loss of vision.

A spokeswoman with Miami Valley Hospital said the only person the Premier-affiliated hospital’s ER saw related to the eclipse was someone who had fallen during the event. She said it can take up to 24 hours to see the affects of staring up at the eclipse.

Prior to the eclipse, local doctors warned that residents should proceed with caution and use proper eye protection when looking up at the sun durin the event.

Dr. Amina Husain, with Premier Eye Surgeons, said even with protective glasses, she said it’s not recommended you look too long at the eclipse.

“You can theoretically burn your retina and potentially go blind and that’s a big complication,” said Husain.

Dr. Barry Gridley, who practices at Eye Care Locale in downtown Dayton and Wing Eyecare at Austin Landing, said even on a regular day, he still sometimes sees patients with damage from looking right at the sun.

“Your retina is protein and heat fries protein and there’s nothing we can do to restore it,” Gridley said.

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