Doctors expecting more patients with eye damage from solar eclipse

GoogleSearches for “eyes hurt” skyrocketed on Google

GoogleSearches for “eyes hurt” skyrocketed on Google

Damage to the retina from sun exposure, known as solar retinopathy, can happen when the eye is exposed directly and for too long to the sun's ultraviolet rays.

He said if you're still concerned, see a doctor. However, staring at the sun without eye protection may seriously damage the eyes.

"The longer you look, the more likely the eye gets damaged, that's for sure", Ameri said.

Here's a look at what happens if you do decide to ignore all the warnings and cautionary tales.

Jacob Chung, Chief of Ophthalmology at New Jersey's Englewood Hospital, told USA Today, "You won't feel any pain if your eyes suffer damage", and optometrist Michael Schecter noted that the damage won't be noticeable until the area "swells "like an egg yolk". Retina damage caused by the sun can appear soon after the event, or days later, so if you are unsure, but still think you need to be checked out, head to the eye doc for confirmation.

If during yesterday's solar eclipse you weren't wearing an approved pair of glasses, you might find yourself in an exam room.

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Shea said a quick glance at the sun isn't going to cause any real permanent damage, but if it's prolonged. The ophthalmologist can monitor your eyes over time to see if the field of damage is getting smaller. People who experience eclipse blindness then, "can't see faces in the mirror, they can't read the newspaper or the smartphone display, they're having trouble looking at road signs", B. Ralph Chou, M.D., president of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, told Time.

The burn can even take on the physical shape of the eclipse that caused the damage. Avoid rubbing your eyes and if you wear contact lenses, remove them immediately. Damage-which can be permanent-can occur in a minute, and it doesn't need to be continuous, either. "They said it burned their solar glasses".

"Normally it's uncomfortable to stare at the sun, but with the eclipse, it's darker and could be easier to do".

He said you can also print off an Amsler Grid. There are no pain receptors inside the eye, so you won't notice any discomfort.

Dr. Steven Couch, an ophthalmologist with Washington University at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, said he's had a lot of patients call in complaining of things like headaches, discomfort in their eyes, or their eyes feeling exhausted - all from the eclipse.

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