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Eye Damage After the Eclipse

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Image result for i can't see because of the eclipseWhat is Solar Retinopathy?

The name given to eye damage which has been caused by looking directly at the sun
is solar retinopathy.

Your eye has an opening at the front (pupil) and a lens which adjusts to focus images
you are looking at onto the retina at the back of the eye. The retina is made up of delicate tissue that is sensitive to light. Solar retinopathy occurs when the harmful radiation from the sun reaches the eye and is concentrated by the lens onto the retina. This burns the retina and destroys the cells that enable you to see.

How do I know if I have solar retinopathy?

As there are no pain-sensing nerves in the retina you will not feel any pain while the
damage is being caused. Some hours after the event you may experience the following

  • eyes may become watery and sore
  • difficulty in seeing shape and detail of objects
  • discomfort with bright light
  • a blind spot in your central vision
  • things may appear to be unusually colored
  • objects may be distorted in shape

What do I do now?

 Unfortunately, there are no treatments currently available, however an eye specialist
(ophthalmologist) will be able to advise you on the extent of your particular eye
damage and assess and monitor your condition. You should be seen within a few days
of the damage if you still have any of the symptoms.

Is the damage permanent?

If the damage is mild, your eyesight may return to normal after a time when the
swelling at the back of the eye is reduced. The length of time varies with each
individual and the extent of the damage. The eye specialist will advise you on how to
reduce the discomfort while the swelling goes down.

Unfortunately, if the damage is more severe, your eyesight may be permanently
affected. It is only through monitoring of your sight over a period of weeks that the eye
specialist will be able to assess the extent of the long-term damage.What do you do if you think you may have eye damage from the solar eclipse?

~McMinnville Eye Clinic~

235 SE Norton Lane, Suite A McMinnville, OR
Monday – Friday 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Saturday 8:00 am – 12:00 pm
Lincoln City
2930 W Devils Lake Road, Lincoln City, OR
Tuesday – Friday 8:00 am – 4:00 pm

~Casey Eye Institute~

503 494-3000
Our telephone hours are 8 a.m.- 5 p.m., Monday- Friday, except for holidays.
Hours may vary by clinic.
  • Casey Eye Institute – Portland Marquam Hill (main office – top of tram)
  • Casey Eye Institute – Portland South Waterfront (bottom of tram)
  • Casey Eye Institute – Vancouver, Washington
  • Casey Eye Institute – Astoria, Oregon
  • Lower Columbia Eye Clinic – Longview, Washington
  • Columbia River Eye Clinic – Hood River, Oregon
  • Casey Eye Institute – The Dalles, Oregon

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