How to know if you or your child has eye damage from eclipse viewing

With the total eclipse come and gone, you may be wondering if you or a family member has had some vision damage.

Eye doctors in our area have been getting calls about that. T

here are actually two types of eye damage caused by looking at the sun too long. One is like a sunburn on the front of the eye. The other, burning of the back of the eye, the retina. One goes away in short time, The other can stick around forever. Here’s how to know whether you or a child has damage.

Since the eclipse, the staff at Greenville Eye Institute has been fielding phone calls about both types of sun related eye damage.

“I received a call from a woman concerning the burning in her eyes from the solar eclipse when she did not put her glasses on in time,” said Alicia Bonitati at the front desk.

And two, burning of the back, which has no pain at all.

Dr. Katie Baston at the Eye Institute says by now, more than 24 hours after the eclipse, you would likely notice if you had retinopathy, the burning of the back of the eye. And there’s no treatment, but time.

Ophthalmologist say this kind of retina damage often resolves itself over a period of days or a few weeks. But if it hasn’t come back after 6 months it’s not likely to.

So how do you know if your child has damage?

“If your child is looking at a picture and says mommy I can’t see a face on this mermaid or if they’re watching a television show, mommy why is there a black spot on the TV , that might be a reason to call the eye doctor to say my daughter is seeing a spot in the middle of everything and I’m worried she took of her glasses during the eclipse,” said Baston.

When it comes to the burning of the front of the eye, that may feel more painful, like a sunburn, so you or your kids will know it. But it actually won’t likely cause permanent damage. To treat that you can get some eye drops and minimize exposure to light.