A New York woman suffered a crescent-shaped burn to her retina accompanied by vision loss after viewing the recent solar eclipse through what turned out to be a defective pair of solar glasses.
According to People, the woman is described as being in her twenties and is now part of a case study by the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.
The lead author of the study, Dr. Avnish Deobhakta, says the woman observed the sun for about 15 to 20 seconds through the glasses. Four hours later, she began experiencing color and vision distortions in addition to blurry vision. Affects were most notable in her left eye.
The woman also reported seeing a “central black spot” with her left eye.
Upon traveling to the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai, doctors used adaptive optics to see detailed images of the cells that make up the photoreceptor layer of the retina. This layer is responsible for converting light to electrical energy which the brain then interprets.
The doctors found that the eclipse had burned a crescent shape into the woman’s retina. Six weeks after the eclipse, her symptoms continued to persist.
Dr. Deobhakta says that this case is evidence that more need to be done to warn consumers about the dangers of defective solar glasses.
The AAS Solar Eclipse Task Force has created a list of reputable glasses vendors as to make sure that people stay safe and don’t damage their eyesight while viewing a solar eclipse.
Viewers are always advised to check their glasses before looking at an eclipse to make sure that there aren’t any scratches or other defects. Doing so ensures that no harmful rays penetrate your eyes and cause vision issues.