NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – While the epic eclipse has come and gone, many are concerned it left a mark behind, damaging their eyes.
Calls have been coming in to optometrists across the area; some worried about headaches, others burning eyes and seeing spots.
Dr. Olivia Mesoras with Eyecare Plus in Green Hills said some spectators may have permanent eye damage after viewing the eclipse.
“It’s very quick, even just instantaneous,” she explained, adding, “Looking at the Sun directly, without any Sun protection could cause permanent damage to the eyes almost instantaneously.”
Mesoras has already heard from several people who are concerned.
“We have had a few calls, but not one, knock on wood, yet that I’ve seen that’s actually had the solar retinopathy from the damage from the eclipse,” she told News 2.
Dr. Mesoras has already examined a patient and was able to test them right away.
“What I always recommend doing, if you suspect this, is doing what’s called a Macular OCT, which basically looks at each cellular layer of the best vision of the retina, that 20/20 vision, because what you’ll see is a little hole in the interim membrane of that,” said Dr. Mesoras.
The signs usually don’t set in for hours or even days.
“It’s not necessarily headaches like a lot of people think,” she said. “What it really is a distortion of central vision because that’s what’s affected is the macula where it has our 20/20 vision, our best vision, our central vision, so that’s the area that gets the direct damage,” she explained.
She added that distortion and a loss of clear central vision are signs you may have permanent damage.
“There really is no treatment at this time, because the area that it affects it causes a hole in that region, so there’s really no way to treat it except just monitor it with your doctor and really keep a watch on it and make sure nothing is progressing.”
Dr. Mesoras said if you have any concerns, it is best to reach out to your eye doctor.
News 2 also called the Vanderbilt Eye Institute Triage Clinic. They said they have also received several calls and examined 10 patients Tuesday who had concerns after viewing the eclipse. However, none were diagnosed with eye damage.
The Eye Institute does have a clinic open to those who feel as though they may have issues from viewing the eclipse.