If you made the mistake of looking at the solar eclipse that happened today without protection, it's possible your eyes hurt. Here's what to do.
The Great American Solar Eclipse of 2017 has come and gone, and if you followed the experts’ advice, you either wore special glasses or used a pinhole projector to view the eclipse. If you didn’t, however, it’s highly likely that your eyes hurt.
“My eyes hurt” quickly became a trending topic on social media and search engines. But simply searching “my eyes hurt” can get a range of different remedies for a whole bunch of problems not having to do with the solar eclipse. So what has happen to your eyes, and why do your eyes hurt?
Viewing the sun with your naked eye, even while part of the sun is covered, can literally burn your retina. It’s called “eclipse blindness” and it can result in either temporary or permanent vision problems. Sometimes, it’s so bad it results in legal blindness.
If you just glances at the sun for a second or two and your eye hurts a little bit, you probably haven’t done permanent damage. Give it a couple hours to see if things clear up.
There aren’t usually any immediate symptoms or pain if you do damage your eyes. No pain receptors are located in your retina, so if your eyes hurt, it may not be due to damage.
Usually, you won’t know if you have damage until about 12 hours after the eclipse. You won’t be able to see faces in a mirror, and you’ll have trouble reading the newspaper or your smartphone display, for example. You’ll have a blind spot in the center of your vision.
Unfortunately, there’s nothing much you can do to mitigate this injury, which is permanent. However, just because you notice this problem doesn’t mean you have the injury. Sometimes, the situation clears up in about three months.
Staring at the eclipse isn’t advisable, but as long as you didn’t do it for a long period of time, you probably don’t have a whole lot to worry about.
If you took a quick peak at the sun, you weren’t the only one. “So as it turns out…I probably shoulda bought the glasses, can barely see the eclipse and now my eye balls hurt,” Twitter user Jimmy Rowley wrote.
“I literally looked at the sun for 0.1 seconds by accident with my bare eyes and IT FAKIN HURT pls use protection kids,” added Eren Telimen.
“So after reading tons of advice about how i shouldn’t look at the sun even through dark a– glasses, i looked at the sun. my eyes hurt,” said Mohammad Alsaafin.