Eye Injuries Possible After Solar Eclipse

Posted at 8:44 PM, Aug 21, 2017

With the solar eclipse over, people may begin feeling the effects of the event on their eyes.

Area doctors warned that if protective glasses weren’t worn during the eclipse, damage could be done to a person’s eyes. Sometimes symptoms can be identified right away, but in many cases, it can take hours after the eclipse.

The Vanderbilt Eye Institute opened special clinics specifically to treat eclipse-related eye injuries. As of Monday evening, no one had come to the clinic for treatment, but doctors expected to see more patients Tuesday.

“We’re expecting some patients with solar retinopathy, which is damage to the retina caused by intense lights,” said Dr. Sean Donohue, Professor of Ophthalmology at Vanderbilt.

Symptoms to look out for include eye irritation, blurred vision, distortions, blind spots in vision, or altered color vision.  Dr. Donohue said look out for the same symptoms in children.

“If your child is complaining of headaches, or light sensitivity that isn’t a serious problem,” said Dr. Donohue.  “If they can’t see something out of one eye, or have a blind spot, that is something that needs to be evaluated.

For more information on the clinics at the Vanderbilt Eye Institute call (615) 936-2020.

According to officials at the Vanderbilt eye clinic, a total of ten people were examined Tuesday following the eclipse, but none were diagnosed with eye damage.