Seconds 'All It Took': Oregon Man Left Partially Blind by 1963 Eclipse

Nobody was talking about safety glasses back then, so he watched it with the naked eye, closing his left eye and leaving his right eye open.

"The sun at that time, at 3:30 p.m., was in the one o'clock position", said Tomososki. "I'm glad I didn't go 40 seconds; it would have been worse". But it wasn't until months later that he found out he'd burned a hole in his retina during an eye doctor appointment.

They recommend you not look in the direction of the eclipse, they also stress that you don't wear the protective glasses while driving as this can be unsafe as well.

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According to Tomososki, he and his friend looked at the solar eclipse for merely 20 seconds.

The damage occurs in the fovea, a spot in the retina that is responsible for sharp, central vision. Unfortunately, Tomososki and Duval did not use one, which led to lifelong eye damage. As a result, patients with solar retinopathy may have blurry vision or a central blind point in their eyes, according to the AAO.

REMEMBER: Looking directly at the sun, even when it is partially covered by the moon, can cause serious eye damage or blindness.

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People with the condition show a characteristic pattern of eye damage during eye exams.

"Anyone who stares at the sun can get this blind spot", Dr. Russell N. Van Gelder, a professor of ophthalmology at University of Washington School of Medicine and clinical spokesman for the American Academy of Ophthalmology, told TODAY. And 55 years later, "Nothing has changed", he told TODAY.

Anyone planning to see the solar eclipse on Monday must use special eclipse glasses, which are created to protect the eye from the sun's infrared and UV rays. But keep in mind that appropriate glasses alone won't save you.

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"When the disc of the moon has completely blocked out the sun and the corona of the sun is visible, it is safe to look at the corona", Van Gelder said. He also said that he wished he had been informed of the dangers of staring into a solar eclipse back when it could've actually helped him. You might be giving those silly looking glasses the side-eye, wondering if you really, actually need to wear them during your eclipse-viewing extravaganza on August 21. It's important to highlight the same thing can happen to cameras, so if you plan to snap some photos of the solar eclipse, put the glasses on the lens.

  • Israel Montgomery