With the eclipse officially behind us, it’s clear for all the rest of us to see who exactly was paying attention when every news outlet, healthcare professional, friend, family member, etc. from around the country warned against staring directly into the sun during this years solar eclipse.
Though thankfully reports of optical injuries related to the solar eclipse are less than what many anticipated, those who are still suffering act as a cautionary tale to the rest. One young woman from New York only peeked a few times for less than 10 seconds each, yet found herself in the waiting room of her doctors office only three days later with complaints of blurred and distorted vision, and centralized black spots. Though most who reported eclipse-related injuries only experienced temporary blurred vision, as many as three patients were discovered to have had at least some retinal abnormalities.
Everyone knows that staying out in the sun for too long, whether you’re at the beach or in your very own backyard, can cause sunburn, wrinkles, freckles, discolorations of the skin, sallowness, telangiectasia, certain cancers, tumors, and more. Now just think about how incredibly sensitive our eyes are compared to the surface of our skin and consider the potential damage it can cause. There are specific reasons that sunglasses and other protective gear are recommended when it’s super sunny outside, so why not take the same precautions when you’re in a situation that involves you staring directly into the suns light?
When you find yourself accidentally, or even (hopefully not) on purpose, staring at the sun for any given time you’re opening yourself up to risks that could leave you blind. You don’t need to be a professional optometrist or other eye care specialist to know that if sunburn on your skin is painful, than sunburn on your eyeballs might be more than just uncomfortable. Photokeratitis is a condition caused by sun exposure that actually causes blisters and cracks to appear on the surface of the eye when exposed to too much UV light. Symptoms may not appear until hours after you’ve been exposed, but can make you feel like there is excessive tearing, tissue inflammation, or like you’ve rubbed your eyes with fine-grit sandpaper. Some conditions caused by sun exposure are treatable or will go away naturally with time, but not always. Don’t risk it, it’s definitely not worth the lifetime of memories you will miss out on if something bad happens. If you’re looking for anything from an eye exam to a surgical procedure anywhere in Northern Michigan, schedule an appointment with Alpine Eye Care by calling us directly at 1.877.733.2020 today to learn more about our practice, read patient testimonials, and receive excellent care.