Vanderbilt Opening Triage For Possible Eye Damage Victims Following Eclipse

Posted at 8:30 PM, Aug 17, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-17 21:34:33-04

In anticipation of the solar eclipse, ophthalmologists at Vanderbilt University will have a triage for patients complaining of eye damage as a result of gazing at the sun during the solar eclipse.

Doctors expect there could be a number of people complaining of dark spots in their vision or discomfort in their eyes after viewing portions of the partial eclipse without proper protection. So, they're giving priority to patients on Monday afternoon of the eclipse and Tuesday throughout the day.

"It's interesting that a number of us in pediatric ophthalmology and adult ophthalmology across the country ,who are in these areas of totality, got together already knowing that this might happen to put together a group that is going to then report on these findings," said Dr. Sean Donahue, professor of ophthalmology at Vanderbilt. "What happens is probably an opportunity to report on a series of retinal and eye problems as a result of looking at the sun that we haven't done before." 

The data collected from potential cases will be used to write research about sun damage in the eye that's never been done before.

Dr. Donahue said typically when they study cases of sun damage, it's usually from someone who has taken drugs, such as LSD. People who are sober have reflexes that usually prevent them from looking directly into the sun.