Man Who Burned Retina During 1962 Eclipse Warns Others of Viewing Dangers

A Portland man who watched a solar eclipse in 1963 says the experience left him partially blind in one eye and now he wants everyone to know the warnings about eye damage during the upcoming eclipse are no joke

It's nearly time for the Northern Hemisphere to watch the skies go dark and see the solar eclipse unfold on August 21.

According to Tomososki, he and his friend looked at the solar eclipse for merely 20 seconds.

The total solar eclipse this Monday is attracting thousands of people who are eager to see the phenomenon.

When watching the eclipse with special, protective glasses, Suh recommended viewing for one minute, looking away for 15 seconds or so and then repeating the pattern.

The good new is, the certified eclipse glasses are fairly cheap.

"That's all it took", Tomososki told KPTV. "I'm glad I didn't go 40 seconds, it would have been even worse".

He describes it as looking at someone and being able see their face - but not their nose. "I have a little blind spot in the center of my right eye".

Indeed, Tomososki said his doctors can often tell that he once looked directly at the sun. "But, even though it's not painful, those harmful rays are still getting in your eyes and focused right onto the center of your retina, and that's where it does the damage". The real cause for concern is damage to the back of your eye, or retina.

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The sun's rays carry many different types of light that can cause physical and chemical damage to your vision.

"Some damage occurs pretty quickly, but a lot of damage can take hours to days to really come to bear", Lujan said.

There is no scientifically proven treatment available for the damage, Suh said. His friend suffered damage in the left eye. "The only way to treat solar retinopathy right now is to prevent it and not stare at the sun during the eclipse".

To make sure that your glasses meet the standard, you can test them by placing a lens in front of your cell phone.

Now 70-years-old, Tomososki is hoping that people won't repeat his mistake during the "Great American Eclipse", that is set to occur this upcoming Monday, August 21.

"When the disc of the moon has completely blocked out the sun and the corona of the sun is visible, it is safe to look at the corona", Van Gelder said.

If you'll watch the eclipse outside the path of totality -which is about 70 miles wide and goes from OR to South Carolina-is necessary to use protection at all times. 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.


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