Doctors Treat Patients for Eye Pain, They Used Sunblock During the Eclipse

August 25, 2017 Updated: August 25, 2017

Staff from an eye clinic have said that fortunately there have not been many patients coming in with retinal eye damage after the eclipse.

But they have had customers coming in for treatment of eye pain caused by the application of sunscreen on their eyeballs.

These patients told staff that they applied sunscreen to their eyes because they did not have any protective glasses to view the eclipse on Monday, Aug. 21.

Solar eclipse watchers were ecstatic as the clouds broke minutes before totality during the total solar eclipse from the one of last vantage points where totality will be visible on August 21, 2017 in Isle of Palms, S.C. (Pete Marovich/Getty Images)
Solar eclipse watchers were ecstatic as the clouds broke minutes before totality during the total solar eclipse. One of the last vantage points where totality was visible on Aug. 21, 2017, in Isle of Palms, S.C. (Pete Marovich/Getty Images)

“One of my colleagues at moonlight here stated yesterday that they had patients presenting at their clinic that put sunscreen on their eyeball, and presented that they were having pain and they were referred to an ophthalmologist,” nurse practitioner Trish Patterson told WCYB.

Patterson said that patients with retinal eye damage from looking at the sun, or solar retinopathy, do not experience pain, due to the lack of pain receptors in the retina.

She added that blurred or impaired vision from solar retinopathy may take some time, usually 12 to 24 hours, before it becomes apparent.

In addition to blurry or clouded vision, retinal damage can manifest as seeing dark spots or holes in your vision, usually in the center of the field of vision, experiencing light sensitivity, and possibly changes in the way you see color.

A similar form of eye damage common in children is laser retinopathy, caused when laser pointers are shone in the eyes.

It takes only a couple of seconds of staring directly at the sun for retina damage to occur.

Anyone experiencing symptoms of retinal damage is recommended to seek professional assistance by visiting an ophthalmologist for a thorough eye exam.

An employee of German technology company Bosch demonstrates the use of a Bosch eye care solution to check up the retina of an eye with a digital camera at the company's headquarters in Gerlingen near Stuttgart, southwestern Germany, on April 29, 2015. (THOMAS KIENZLE/AFP/Getty Images)
An employee of German technology company Bosch demonstrates the use of a Bosch eye care solution to check the retina of an eye with a digital camera at the company’s headquarters in Gerlingen near Stuttgart, southwestern Germany, on April 29, 2015. (Thomas Kienzle/AFP/Getty Images)

The ophthalmologist, or eye doctor, will be able to help determine the extent of retinal damage. While some people’s retinas may be able to gradually heal, for most people, retinal damage is permanent.

From NTD.tv