Recently, we were lucky enough to be able to watch a solar eclipse here in the Northeast part of the United States.
Unfortunately, quite a number of people did not pay attention to the warnings given and actually looked up at the sun. I saw a number of new patients with eye problems caused by doing just this.
Solar retinopathy is when the retina receives ultraviolet light and is actually burned, much like a rapid sunburn. Patients were reporting seeing blurry after the exposure, or seeing a small spot in the middle of their vision that made it hard or impossible to see what was directly in front of them.
The other problem that comes from having looked at the eclipse is photokeratitis which is like a sunburn of the cornea. This is a very painful condition because of the huge number of nerve endings in the cornea. This can also occur when you look at a large area of snow on a very sunny day.
If you or a loved one has looked at the eclipse and is suffering from any of the above mentioned symptoms, you see an ophthalmologist as soon as possible.