Dozens complain of eye pain after seeing solar eclipse without glasses
The solar eclipse didn't last long Monday, but it may have done some long-term damage.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The solar eclipse didn't last long Monday, but it may have done some long-term damage.
One day after the big event, Visionworks offices across Kentuckiana were hearing lots of complaints.
Experts warned people again and again to not look at the eclipse without the certified glasses. In fact, WDRB News, Fox and Heine Brothers gave out 100,000 pairs of eclipse glasses across the area.
However, despite the free glasses and warnings, some people just could not resist the temptation, and now they're paying the price.
It was the eclipse seen from coast to coast.
"I was extremely excited about it," said Earth Neha, who watched the eclipse.
Earth Neha was one of the millions watching. She said it was amazing, even posting it on Facebook Live. But in doing so, Neha got a glimpse of the eclipse without her glasses.
"I forgot about it, and I looked up," she said. "It was a very thin sliver left."
Doctors said even a peak like that can do permanent damage to your eyes.
"Just a quick brief look, and you can do damage to the back of the eye to the retina," said Dr. Grant Rubesh an optometrist and medical director for Dr. Mark Lynn & Associates at Visionworks. "We were up to about 60 phone calls by 12 o'clock."
Rubesh said the calls were from concerned patients, most of whom looked at Monday's eclipse without glasses.
"For something like that, what you would notice is a black spot in your central vision," Rubesh said.
If there's permanent damage, Rubesh said chances are good you'll know it and have symptoms.
"If you did permanent damage, that spot is not going to go away," he said. "It's still going to be in a patient's vision in the morning when they woke up."
In that case, Rubesh said you could have what's known as Solar Retinopathy.
Despite taking a peek, Neha hasn't seen any side effects and said her eyes are better than ever.
Rubesh said if you are having issues with your eyes, do not self-medicate. Instead, make an appointment to see an optometrist.
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