Man who burned retina looking at 1960s eclipse warns about upcoming 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.

"Every time we go to an eye doctor now for an exam, they dilate your eyes and look in there, the first thing they say is, you looked at a solar eclipse sometime in your life", Tomasoski said.

"I can tell you, if you look at the sun, even with a partial eclipse, the sun rays are so powerful even in two seconds you can actually cause possible permanent damage", said Doctor Faruk Orge, Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital.

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Tomososki's condition is called a solar retinopathy, or damage to the retina that happens when you look directly at the sun.

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. "There are serious risks associated with viewing a solar eclipse directly, even when using solar filter glasses", OH optometrist Michael Schecter said on Facebook. "It doesn't get any worse or better". This damage occurs because your eye's lens focuses the sun's rays on a single point at the back of the eye. Unfortunately, Tomososki and Duval did not use one, which led to lifelong eye damage.

Even if just 1 percent of the sun is visible, Testin said, that is still more than 10,000 times brighter than a full moon. "A lot of the damage can be permanent".

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The damage occurs in the fovea, a spot in the retina that is responsible for sharp, central vision. "It looks like someone took a hole punch and just punched out the photoreceptive cells in the retina", Van Gelder said. But keep in mind that appropriate glasses alone won't save you. As a result, Tomososki now states that he had been living with a blind spot at the center of his eye for the last 55 years.

In 1962, Lou Tomososki was excited to witness the eclipse after learning about it from his science teacher. He even said he remembered seeing the moon pass over the sun.

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.

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Tomososki has been sharing his story because he worries people will look directly at the sun on Monday during the Great American Eclipse.


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