Bakersfield eye doctor warns people about "Eclipse Blindness"

Posted at 9:26 AM, Aug 13, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-13 12:26:17-04
The Great American Solar Eclipse is just around the corner! With so many people looking at the sky during this event, there is a hidden danger that a lot of people don't know about if you stare at the sun without protective eye wear and that is called "eclipse blindness".
23ABC's Meteorologist Adam Bowles spoke to a Bakersfield eye doctor to show us how you can protect your self from permanent eye damage while experiencing this rare phenomenon. 
 Did you know that staring at the sun's rays waiting for the moon's shadow to pass can possibly lead to permanent eye damage that can lead to blindness. This is where this guy comes in.  Dr. Daniel Learned, with California Retina Consultants wants to protect you before the big day.
"Light rays come in and damage the retina which is kind of like the film of a camera and once the retina is damaged it doesn't process light in the image appropriately," Learned says.
This means, you could lose your sight permanently.  The dark spot can happen to anyone's eyes, old or young. A scan of eclipse blindness was only from a 22 year old patient recently.
"So there are certain sunglasses that you can wear but they have to be a certain type approved by NASA typically are the ones we recommend and those filter out the damaging rays of the sun," Learned states.
There is actually a neat, cheap way you can protect your eyes from Eclipse Blindness if you don't have a pair of those special glasses.
"Have your back towards the sun so your eyes are not looking at the sun at all and then you can create pinholes by creating kind of like a cross stitch pattern of your hands," Learned says. "The light shines over your shoulders and cast a shadow on the ground and you can see the eclipse through shadows on the ground that your fingers are creating a pinhole through. "