Questions Rise on Future Eye Glass Use and Eye Vision After Eclipse

The 'Great Eclipse' is now a memory. However for some watchers, questions over eclipse glasses, and their own vision remain.

Eye doctors say they've taken calls about possible vision damage, and what to do with glasses.

While watchers were wearing their viewing glasses while watching yesterday's Great Eclipse, some were still worried about their vision afterwards. Eye doctors say there are ways people can find out if their vision was truly affected.

The great eclipse caught eyes across the Tri-State.

"I thought the eclipse was awesome," says Margaret Williams of Madisonville.

"It was amazing," adds Donna Yancy of Dixon. "It was the first time, and hopefully not the last time."

All while protecting their eyes with viewing glasses.

"They're fine. I didn't have any problem," Yancy says.

With another total eclipse happening in less than seven years, Dr. Troy Crist of Multicare Eye Clinic in Madisonville says this year's glasses can still be used in 2024 if they're stored properly and if the lens isn't damaged. Some glass makers recommend replacing them in three years.

"There can't be any creases in it, there can't be any pinholes in it. As long as you store them, the film that is used to make the sunglasses don't have an expiration date on them. But you cannot let them become damaged," says Dr. Crist. He also says some residents voiced concerns over vision damage due to peaking at the eclipse before totality. Crist says quick glances wouldn't be very harmful, but looking at the sun for 20 seconds leads to potential problems.

"The damage is done from the radiation from the sun, which causes the cells on the macula, which act like receptors, to fry like an egg. Over time, we will have this distortion," Dr. Crist says.

Some parts of the eye, including the retina, cannot regenerate if damaged. One way to check your vision: the Amsler Grid, which detects blurred vision or sun damage.

Dr. Crist also says if you think your vision was affected, don't be hesitant to call an eye doctor.

(This story was originally published on August 22, 2017)

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