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Vision Checks after Eclipse

Damage from unfiltered looks bring warning

8/22/2017, 4:29 p.m.
Anyone experiencing eye discomfort or noticeable vision changes in the hours, days and even weeks following Monday's solar eclipse, are ...
A photo from Linfield College in McMinnville, south of Portland, shows the Great Solar Eclipse in the pathway of totality when it is blocked by the moon and is safe to view. Unfiltered views of any part of the sun itself can damage the eyes. Kevin E. Curry of Linfield College

Anyone experiencing eye discomfort or noticeable vision changes in the hours, days and even weeks following Monday's solar eclipse, are encouraged to make an appointment for a comprehensive eye examination.

According to Pacific University’s Eye Clinics, eye pain, light sensitivity or other noticeable changes to vision can begin immediately, or more commonly, several hours and possibly days after viewing the sun without an appropriate filter such as ISO-approved solar glasses.

Solar retinopathy (damage to the eye's retinal tissue), may occur after viewing the unfiltered sun for just a few seconds, even if the sun is almost but not entirely eclipsed, as it was in most of Oregon on Monday morning.

Often times, there are no immediate symptoms or pain associated with retinal damage because retinas do not have pain receptors, says Dr. Lorne Yudcovitch. Changes to vision or light sensitivity may not be noticeable until the following day or longer, he added.

And, depending on the severity of the damage, vision problems may be treatable or permanent, but time is of the essence. Notice any discomfort or impairment in vision and have your eyes examined as soon as possible, he says.

Those who experience pain or vision difficulty, or are otherwise concerned about their eye health, can schedule a comprehensive examination at Pacific EyeClinic locations in Portland (downtown), Beaverton (The Round), Hillsboro (Health and Education District), Cornelius (Virginia Garcia Wellness Center) and Forest Grove (Pacific University Campus).

For more information, including a complete list of EyeClinic appointment phone numbers, please visit pacificu.edu/eyeclinic.