ATLANTA - Two days after the eclipse, eye doctors are getting phone calls from people who think they may have damaged their vision from looking at the rare solar event.
Channel 2 Action News and WSBTV.com brought you extensive coverage of the big event, including several warnings about how looking at the sun could damage your vision.
Dr. David Ross, of Ross Eyecare Group in Buckhead, said, “Within 3 to 5 days, if damage was going to occur, it has occurred.”
Ross has seen post-eclipse damage before. A partial eclipse in Georgia in 1984 brought two cases of vision damage to his attention from unprotected viewing.
“They were very fortunate that, although their vision was blurred for several months, they did fully recover their visual acuity,” he said.
Since Monday's eclipse, Ross has fielded calls and seen another couple of patients who feared for their eyesight.
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“Luckily, neither one of them had any documentable damage, but we're not out of the woods yet,” he said.
Ross said there’s a three-to-five-day window of unfortunate opportunity for you to realize something is wrong.
Ross Eyecare Group sent out more than 15,000 emails to patients and their families to warn of the dangers of watching the eclipse without proper protection or with counterfeit eclipse glasses.
On a retinal scan, Ross showed how if the retina gets burned, you would have blurring, a distortion, or a complete gap in the center portion of everything you look at. That would happen in varying degrees depending on the damage.
The two cases Ross has seen since Monday have had their tests come back with undetectable damage.
Whether or not you can recover from damage varies for every person. “It could range from just a little blurring for a few days, (or) few weeks and comes back to perfectly normal, to vision that never recovers,” Ross said.
Ross urges people to wear UV protective sunglasses and to do exercise that has cardiovascular benefits which help your eyesight. He also encourages regular full eye exams and recommends them for children, too.
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