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How to know if your eyes were damaged by the solar eclipse

Kids watching total solar eclipseBOISE - If you've been wondering whether you damaged your eyes by viewing the solar eclipse, you're not alone!  Many people have taken to social media complaining about their vision or headaches - whether they were wearing glasses or not.

As we have reported, it only takes seconds of staring at the sun to cause real damage to your eyes.

But Dr. Paul Bingham of Pearle Vision says it could take as much as 24 hours to notice any signs of harm.

Dr. Bingham has already seen at least one patient after Monday's solar eclipse, wondering if the sun had damaged his eyes.



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“We took a look at everything and, fortunately, it was nothing to be concerned about, but certainly there is real risk and concern if there is potential damage,” says Dr. Bingham.

Damage can show up as much as a full day later, and can appear as blurred spots or holes in the central part of your vision, difficulty distinguishing between colors, sensitivity to light and even headaches.

“Unfortunately there isn't really any treatment for this. we just have to watch and monitor it and see where things go,” says Bingham.

Bingham says you are likely to recover more quickly and fully if the sun damages your cornea rather than your retina.

But either way, it is best to get your eyes checked out if you think something may be wrong.

“The blurry vision, the spot in the central part of your vision, any of those things that you experience especially if you have looked without the proper glasses or without glasses at all, that would be an indication to come get checked because maybe it's something else, maybe it's not that," says Bingham. "So we just want to make sure we know is that cause from the sun or is that something different because there are lots of things that can cause those kinds of symptoms.”

And just because of the mass amount of people in the Treasure Valley who wanted to get a glimpse of the solar eclipse, Bingham expects to see more patients.

“I wouldn't be surprised if at least one or two patients in the next couple of days or weeks just show up or say 'hey I think something is kind of off,' you never want to mess with your vision,” says Bingham.

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