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How to Tell if You Damaged Your Eyes Staring Directly at the Sun

Partial Solar Eclipse Over Central Europe
Getty Images

If you didn’t listen to everyone’s advice and STILL looked directly into the sun during the solar eclipse…here’s how to tell if your eyes are damaged.

Don’t worry –  if you did, you’re not alone. I tried to look at the sun too just to get a glimpse and unfortunately didn’t have any glasses. While I didn’t stare too long because I got scared, I still had to press on this Buzzfeed article to see if I have any symptoms.

According to eye experts, staring directly at the sun can damage part of the retina causing solar retinopathy. This is like having a sunburn on your retina.

So how do you know if you have it? Here are the main signs:

  • visual disturbances
  • blurry vision
  • loss of vision in the center of your eye
  • color distortion
  • afterimages (lingering images after you look away)
  • blindspots
  • vision loss

It’s important to know, retinal damages take a few days to appear in some cases. So, if you’re genuinely worried, just pay attention to your eyesight over the next few days.

Importantly, IF you have these symptoms GET CHECKED BY A DOCTOR. I write this in caps for those of you who will resort to WebMD first.

If you only looked at the sun for a few seconds you *should* be fine. Read the full breakdown from Buzzfeed right here.


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