‘Post-eclipse hypochondria,’ how to tell if you damaged your eyes

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- Millions watched the Great American Eclipse and perhaps not surprisingly, less than 24 hours later, Google searches for things like "my eyes hurt" are on the rise.

Some are calling it "post-eclipse hypochondria. Many people are questioning if the approved ISO filter glasses really worked, or if they damaged their eyes sneaking a raw look at the eclipse.

Dr. Parin Gohel is an ophthalmologist with Grand Rapids Ophthalmology and tells FOX 17 retina damage from staring at the sun typically shows itself within several hours to a day or two. Observing a man's eyes Tuesday he said, "a day or two later you'd see a little yellow spot in the retina, and that eventually kind of turns into a red spot."

"You’d see discoloration of your vision, dark spot in your vision, blurriness in your central vision, sometimes you can even have pain but that’s actually less common. It’s more vision changes that develop a day or two later," he added.

Though some good news: Dr. Gohel wore the approved eclipse glasses himself and trusts they should work if worn properly. Secondly, while there is no proven treatment for this kind of retina damage some fear, he says it can repair itself. Time he says will determine if the damage improves.

"It can and actually usually does improve over several months, up to six months to a year, but oftentimes there’s some level of permanent damage," he said.

After lunch Tuesday, officials with Grand Rapids Ophthalmology tell FOX 17 they received about a dozen calls regarding possible eye damage from the eclipse. Meanwhile officials with Spectrum Health say they had no visits Tuesday for eye damage. If you have any symptoms, see an eye doctor.

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