May 19, 2024

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Eye injuries increase after a solar eclipse

Eye injuries increase after a solar eclipse

US News

Immediately after Monday's solar eclipse, the number of people searching on Google for eye-related injuries jumped, while a New York City doctor said she had treated a large number of patients with eye pain.

“I had many patients come in panicking, saying, ‘I don’t want to go blind,’” Dr. Janet Neshewat, a dual-board-certified physician based in New York City, tells Fox News Digital. “I couldn’t believe it. People were actually looking at the eclipse without protection.”

Doctors and eye specialists have been warning the public for days not to look directly at the sun, but it seems that some did not listen to the advice.

Looking at the sun without protective equipment such as solar eclipse glasses can damage vision and can lead to serious and permanent damage. Sunlight can burn the retina and damage the macula, the part of the retina located at the back of the eye that is responsible for central vision, Nesheiwat says.

Google searches for “sore eyes” and “why do my eyes hurt after an eclipse” spiked after the moon and sun aligned on Monday.

Regarding national numbers, a CDC spokesperson told Fox News Digital that the National Center for Health Statistics does not have any data on eye damage after an eclipse.

Eye damage has increased after a solar eclipse. Claire Grant/Courier Journal/USA Today Network

However, Nesheiwat says she has treated as many as eight patients who came to City MD, which operates near Madison Square Garden in midtown Manhattan, with one patient looking at the sun either directly or through their phone for about 10 minutes.

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“The damage can be irreversible if the retina is severely damaged by looking directly into the eye without proper protection. Some people may experience mild symptoms if exposure to the sun is short-lived.

Looking at the sun without protective equipment such as solar eclipse glasses can damage vision and can lead to serious and permanent damage. Sunlight can burn the retina and damage the macula, the part of the retina located at the back of the eye that is responsible for central vision, Nesheiwat says.

Google searches for “sore eyes” and “why do my eyes hurt after an eclipse” spiked after the moon and sun aligned on Monday.

Google searches for “eyes hurt” and “why do my eyes hurt after the eclipse” spiked after the eclipse. Henry Huey/Special to the American Statesman/USA TODAY NETWORK/USA TODAY NETWORK

Regarding national numbers, a CDC spokesperson told Fox News Digital that the National Center for Health Statistics does not have any data on eye damage after an eclipse.

However, Nesheiwat says she has treated as many as eight patients who came to City MD, which operates near Madison Square Garden in midtown Manhattan, with one patient looking at the sun either directly or through their phone for about 10 minutes.

“The damage can be irreversible if the retina is severely damaged by looking directly into the eye without proper protection. Some people may experience mild symptoms if exposure to the sun is short-lived.

Dr Janet Nesheiwat said: “I couldn't believe it, people were actually looking at the eclipse without protection.” Facebook / Dr. Janet Neshewat

While the vast majority took precautions while gazing at the eclipse, there is a possibility that some may have done so using recovered solar eclipse glasses.

The Illinois Department of Public Health sent out a last-minute recall notice Monday for eclipse glasses that may have failed to meet safety standards.

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The agency asked customers to double-check whether they purchased glasses marked “EN ISO 12312-1:2022” and warned them against using glasses to view the eclipse.

The glasses in question were reportedly sold via Amazon as “2024 Biniki Solar Eclipse Glasses AAS Approved – CE and ISO Approved Safe Shades for Direct Sun Viewing (6 Pack)”. The glasses were also reportedly available at several retail establishments in southern Illinois, including Farm Fresh Market in Breese, Highland Tru Buy in Highland, Perry County Marketplace in Pinckneyville, Sinclair Foods in Jerseyville, Steelville Marketplace in Steelville, and Big John Grocery in Metropolis.


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