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    Does watching a solar eclipse cause vision loss?

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Posted on Wed, 13 Sep 2017 in Vision and Eye Disorders
Question: I looked at the eclipse a bunch of times today and I didn't realize you were supposed to make sure the ISO glasses truly block 100% of the light out. The way I wore them, a tiny bit of light was getting in from the top and bottom. I probably looked up 15 times for about 2 seconds. It was a partial eclipse where I am. How big of a risk is what I did?
doctor
Answered by Dr. V. N. S. Parinam 7 hours later
Brief Answer:
Risk is there but minimal

Detailed Answer:
Hi,

I understand you were concerned about vision loss after viewing solar eclipse. Since the duration is couple of seconds it may not cause greater damage. The damage increases with duration.
however I suggest get a retina check up with local ophthalmologist to find any new changes of solar retinopathy.
Also see a doctor if you have any of the following occuring in next few days:
vision blurred, unable to recognize colours, blind spot in vision, hollow vision.
Solar retinopathy is self limiting and doesn't require active treatment in Many sufferers with due care.
Hope this is useful.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Yogesh D
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Follow up: Dr. V. N. S. Parinam 20 hours later
Thank you for your reply. I have an appointment tomorrow with an ophthalmologist (Wed). I wanted to ask you about my symptoms in the meantime. Thankfully, my vision seems completely normal. However, I do have mild pain in the outer corner of my right eye. It is about a 3 on a 1 to 10 scale. Sometimes I don't notice it actually. I think the right eye is mildly sensitive to light. I noticed this only occasionally while using screens (phone and computer screen). It was more noticeable when I tried to do photo editing actually and isn't noticeable right now just typing. Does this sound like retina damage? Or could it maybe be keratitis and likely to be temporary? Is there any way for me to tell? Is it possible that my vision will be affected even though it currently isn't? The left eye feels completely normal.

I just wanted to add a little information about how I used the eclipse glasses. I did first look down and make sure that what I saw when looking straight was black. However, they didn't fit airtight around me and some light was getting in through the top and bottom (above and below the glasses) But I don't think much if any of the sun would have directly hit the eyes based on this. It looks like I was wearing them similarly to how people on TV are. I've always been much more sensitive to sunlight than most people though. I would always drive with sunglasses even if it was mostly cloudy. I'm wondering if my eyes were more susceptible and needed more protection than most people's.

I'm really worried and I'd appreciate whatever feedback you have. Thanks.
doctor
Answered by Dr. V. N. S. Parinam 12 hours later
Brief Answer:
Vision

Detailed Answer:
Sometimes I don't notice it actually. I think the right eye is mildly sensitive to light. I noticed this only occasionally while using screens (phone and computer screen). It was more noticeable when I tried to do photo editing actually and isn't noticeable right now just typing. Does this sound like retina damage?

=== NO, it does not look retinal damage


Or could it maybe be keratitis and likely to be temporary?

=== Possibility of other issues including keratitis. Unless we know the condition we cannot say if it temporary.

Is there any way for me to tell? Is it possible that my vision will be affected even though it currently isn't?

=== As I said these symptoms may be simple issue and may be temporary as well. Unless we know the condition after examination we would not be able to comment if it affects the vision or not.

I do not see a problem with how you wore the sun glasses. It looks ok.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. V. N. S. Parinam

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2008

Answered : 1731 Questions

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