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Concerns about eye health increase after the eclipse

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Eclipse related eye damage (PHOTO: AP)
  • Is eclipse related eye damage a real concern?
  • Internet searches for eye pain have increased.
  • What experts say.

Google searches for information about eclipse related eye damage have drastically increased.

It began just one day after the total solar eclipse that captivated millions in North America.

We share some signs of eye damage you should be aware of if you looked at the eclipse for too long.

Before you continue reading, we invite you to listen to the new Tu Mundo Hoy podcast by clicking HERE.


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Warnings about eclipse related eye damage

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In the weeks leading up to the eclipse, medical authorities and astronomers ramped up their warnings about potential eye damage.

For this reason, sales of special glasses for observing the total eclipse soared.

After the eclipse was watched by millions from Mexico to Canada, internet searches for information on eye damage increased.

«The searches suggest some people in the sun’s path were worried they’d glanced at it too long,» reported NBC News.

Some people are experiencing blurry vision

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Google trends show an increase in searches for information about eye health.

It appears that many people may have looked at the sun during the eclipse.

The American Academy of Ophthalmology one sign of solar retinopathy is blurry vision.

Other symptoms are a blind spot in the central focus of one or both eyes, increased light sensitivity, headaches, distorted vision, and colors that look different.

Don’t ignore symptoms

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Experts told The Washington Post that if people have symptoms that persist, they should consult an eye doctor.

«If you looked at the solar eclipse without protection, or with faulty glasses, you should pay attention to symptoms like pain or blurred vision,» optometrist Seth Laster told the paper.

«If your vision is blurry, or you see gray spots that don’t go away, you may have suffered damage to your retinas.»

Some of these symptoms include eye irritation or pain, and blurred vision.

Permanent damage doesn’t occur instantly

Ruseel Van Gelder, ophthalmologist, Washington Medical University, Seattle, MundoNOW

Russell Van Gelder, an ophthalmologist at the Washington Medical University in Seattle, Washington explained to NBC News that it takes a lot of exposure to cause damage.

«It’s pretty hard to get that eclipse gazing; you need a fair amount of exposure.»

Tamara Oechslin, an optometrist at the University of Alabama in Birmingham, told the Post that, «Viewing the sun is often like getting a sunburn.»

«You don’t notice the worst of the damage until an hour or two later,» she added.

When will the next total solar eclipse occur in the U.S.?

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The next opportunity for the U.S. to witness a total solar eclipse will come in 2033 in Alaska.

In 2044 another eclipse will cross Greenland and the western part of Canada, touching parts of North Dakota and Montana.

To witness one of the magnitude of Monday’s, you will have to wait until August 12, 2045.

That eclipse will first be visible in California, crossing Utah, Colorado and Mississippi on its way to Cape Canaveral, Florida.

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