Eye Injuries After Solar Eclipse Surge Following Phenomenon

By FOX News
Posted on 04/11/24 | News Source: FOX News

Immediately after Monday’s solar eclipse, the number of people searching Google for eye-related injuries jumped while one doctor in New York City says she treated a surge of patients with eye pain.

"I had several patients come in panicking saying ‘I don't want to go blind,’" Dr. Janette Nesheiwat, a New York City-based double board-certified doctor tells Fox News Digital. "I couldn't believe it, people actually looked at the eclipse without protection."

Doctors and eye specialists had been warning the public for days not to look directly at the sun, but apparently, some did not heed the advice.

Looking at the sun without protective equipment such as solar eclipse glasses can harm vision and can lead to serious and permanent damage. Nesheiwat says the sun’s rays can burn the retina and damage the macula, the part of the retina at the back of the eye that is responsible for central vision.

Google searches for "hurt eyes" and "why do my eyes hurt after the eclipse" rose after the moon and sun aligned on Monday.

In terms of national figures, a CDC spokesperson told Fox News Digital that the National Center for Health Statistics does not have any data on eye damage following the eclipse. 

However, Nesheiwat says she treated up to eight patients who came into the City MD she works out of near Madison Square Garden in Midtown Manhattan, with one patient looking at the sun either directly or through his phone for about 10 minutes, she says.

"The damage can be irreversible if the retina is severely damaged by looking directly at the without proper eye protection. Some people may have mild symptoms if the exposure to the sun was brief."