Man With Eye Damage From 1962 Eclipse Warns Others To Be Careful

Posted August 19, 2017

"You can burn out your camera in the cell phone just like your retina", he said.

Make sure you have approved glasses if you're planning on watching the solar eclipse on Monday.

Now, for those of you still debating whether to look at the sun without proper protection, here's him detailing his eye injury.

You've heard it a gazillion times by now: You've got to protect your eyes during the eclipse. Tomososki stressed in an interview with KPTV, an NBC affiliate, that it didn't take long for damage to set in. He noted that ever since he got it, the blind spot hasn't gotten any better or any worse. That damage occurs because the eye's lens focuses the sun's rays on a single point at the back of the eye.

The damage occurs in the fovea, a spot in the retina that is responsible for sharp, central vision.

"There's no sign that your eye is being damaged", he told Inside Edition. As a result, patients with solar retinopathy may have blurry vision or a central blind point in their eyes, according to the AAO. But with the eclipse, even when the visible light is reduced by the moon, UV and infrared rays can still do damage to the retina. His friend suffered damage in the left eye.

"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. The American Astronomical Society also recommends handheld solar viewers that contain solar filters, in case you don't own eclipse glasses.

Special solar-viewing glasses, which are much darker than regular sunglasses, are needed to avoid serious eye damage in areas where there is less than 100 percent coverage of the sun.

According to KGW, Tomososki says he will be outside on August 21, but he won't be looking skyward. And 55 years later, "Nothing has changed", he told TODAY.

Back in 1962, people, including Tomososki and Duval were advised by a science teacher to use pinhole cardboard to view the eclipse. "When you partially obscure the sun with the moon, it's not so bright, and it's not so painful to actually look at it", Hubbard said. "The first thing they say is, 'You looked at a solar eclipse sometime in your life, '" he said.