Exposing your eyes to the sun without proper eye protection during a solar eclipse can cause “eclipse blindness” or retinal burns, also known as solar retinopathy. This exposure to the light can cause damage or even destroy cells in the retina (the back of the eye) that transmit what you see to the brain. This damage can be temporary or permanent and occurs with no pain. It can take a few hours to a few days after viewing the solar eclipse to realize the damage that has occurred. The symptoms include:
- Loss of central vision (solar retinopathy)
- Distorted vision
- Altered color vision
If you notice symptoms after viewing a solar eclipse, seek treatment from an eye care professional.