Solar Retinopathy May Cause Permanent Damage
We previously discussed this month’s solar eclipse and the importance of taking the proper measures to look at it safely. Staring directly at an eclipse can cause significant eye damage and potentially lead to solar retinopathy, which we’ll take a closer look at.
Solar retinopathy is caused when harmful radiation from the sun enters the retina, damaging its sensitive tissue. Infrared, visible, and ultraviolet (UV) are the different types of light entering the eye. UV rays are particularly harmful as they can cause eye damage if the eye is over-exposed, literally frying the tissue while also causing damage to the rods and cones. This damage may leave a small blind area or spot.
There is no pain associated with solar retinopathy and the damage caused by it is not immediately visible. After several hours, however, a patient may begin to experience symptoms such as sore, watery eyes, objects that appear distorted, discomfort when looking at bright spots, or the aforementioned blind spot. Since there is no single treatment, patients often have to wait a month or more before the eye may recover. However, if the macula was also damaged, there is a possible risk of permanent vision loss.
Whether the damage is temporary or permanent, consulting an eye doctor can help. Even if you have no intention of looking at the eclipse, always use protective eyewear, especially if you live in South Florida and frequently enjoy sunbathing.
This information is presented by Retina Macula Specialists of Miami, the largest private retina practice in the city. We are a nationally acclaimed retina practice dedicated to the medical and surgical management of vitreoretinal diseases. Each of our extensively trained doctors is certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology and ready to help treat eye diseases such as branch retinal vein occlusion, retinal detachment, age-related macular degeneration, and more. We have three convenient locations in Miami, Coral Gables, and North Miami Beach. For contact information or to request an appointment, please visit https://www.retinamaculamiami.