JACKSON HOLE, WYO – So we’ve all heard a chance glance at the sun while the eclipse is taking place could be very harmful without proper eyewear. Recently, we even dove into some reasons why this is the case and what type of glasses you should be looking for.
Suppose, though, you somehow miss all that. Let’s assume we get to August 21, and someone somewhere still hasn’t gotten the lowdown, and they gaze upon the solar wonder sans UV protection. Scorched eyeballs! What do you do?
Our friends at Grand Eclipse had some solid answers on emergency treatment to take in the case of burned eyeballs, and some preventative measures everyone should be taking during the Total Solar Eclipse (TSE).
Sunburned eyes are a thing…and it’s serious. “Sunburned eyes can heal with proper treatment, but the danger is real. Exposure to UV rays from the sun can leave permanent damage on your retina, cornea, or lens—or all three,” Grand Eclipse states. “Sunburn that damages the lens can eventually lead to cataracts (cloudiness of the eye). Damage to the retina can cause blurred vision or blindness (temporary or permanent).”
How do you know if you’ve been burnt?
“Sunburned eyes may feel gritty and/or painful. There may also be irritation, redness, dryness, and loss of vision,’ say the folks at Global Eclipse. “However, there might be no pain, just loss or blurriness of vision. Be aware that just because there isn’t pain, doesn’t mean you’re in the clear.”
If you suspect eye injury, resist rubbing your eyes. Do not put in or remove contact lenses. Use eye drops to keep eyes lubricated, and take a pain reliever like ibuprofen. As soon as possible, seek medical attention.