Eye Specialists: Protect your Eyes During Solar Eclipse

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Prof. Chou explained that long-term damage from a solar eclipse is very rare and occurs under certain conditions.

NPR turned to optometry expert Ralph Chou, who noted that it "takes at least 12 hours before we can tell if anything has happened", though it could take days.

Jacob Chung, chief of ophthalmology at New Jersey's Englewood Hospital, told USA Today that "a second or two" wouldn't hurt you but "10 seconds is probably too long, and 20 seconds is definitely too long".

And, while eye damage doesn't necessarily make you blind, it does affect your central vision, which results in blurred or spotty eyesight.

There's a similar phenomenon known as laser retinopathy, which often happens when kids shine lasers in people's eyes, he said. Damage-which can be permanent-can occur in a minute, and it doesn't need to be continuous, either.

Regardless of how many times people were warned not to look directly at the eclipse while it was happening, or to use a phone camera, DIY viewer or storebought glasses, some folks did, in fact, take it upon themselves to look directly at the solar eclipse.

China, India soldiers clash in Ladakh
All the officers spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue. The clash between Indian and Chinese troops at Ladakh was caught on camera.

Doctors propose even with protection, watching the sky especially during an eclipse can damage the eyes.

You'll recall how you'll have spots in your vision that are sort of the opposite effect of what you normally see. This can be unsafe, as looking directly at the sun can cause eye damage.

The special glasses created to view the eclipse became a popular in Rome and across the country, and many people found other ways to view the eclipse. He added if you believe your child may have damage, it is best to schedule an eye exam.

"When you burn your retina it's burned". However for some watchers, questions over eclipse glasses, and their own vision remain. So, while we'd recommend those of you complaining about eye pain to go see a doctor, pain isn't a good indicator of whether you've experienced retina damage. Children were looking up at the sun as well.

Doctors say if you are experiencing eye problems following the eclipse to see an eye care professional.

Less than an hour after the Great American Eclipse completed its coast-to-coast show on Monday, people's fascination with the sun and the moon quickly turned to concern about their eyes. "So, any sudden change of vision that stays and is permanent, come and get looked at".