‘Permanently impair your vision;’ Proper eyewear is a must for the solar eclipse

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The moon’s shadow will sweep across the country and millions will step outside to view the solar eclipse, come Monday.


In Northeast Florida and Southeast Georgia, we’ll only have a little more than two-thirds of the sun covered, according to the First Alert Weather Team. However, it’s still important to protect your eyes.

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“A disease called solar retinopathy, that affects the retina or the back of the eye, can occur as quickly as a second.” Dr. Ravi Patel said. “Often, this can be lifelong and permanently impair your vision.”

Dr. Patel is an Ophthalmologist for Florida Eye Specialists and has been practicing medicine for more than 20 years. He said sun damage to your retina occurs more often than you’d think.

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“I actually saw a patient that was referred over that had distortion in her central vision,” Dr. Patel said. “She was a frequent sun tanner and often would go to sun tan beds, and actually [there’s] evidence of solar retinopathy in both her eyes.”

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Some symptoms of solar retinopathy include sensitivity to light and redness in the eyes. The most lasting effect is a blurry of black spot in the center part of your eye, according to Dr. Patel. If you have any of these symptoms, call your doctor.

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