Columbia optometrists see patients concerned about eclipse-related eye damage

6 months 1 day 15 hours ago Thursday, August 24 2017 Aug 24, 2017 Thursday, August 24, 2017 6:27:00 PM CDT August 24, 2017 in Eclipse Impact
By: Zara McDowell, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA - The five optometrists at Columbia Eye Consultant Optometry have seen an influx of patients worried they damaged their vision after Monday's solar eclipse.

Dr. Jeff Gamble said, "In the last two days we've had approximately seven to eight patients who have called in suspecting they might have damage to their eyes."

Gamble said they have not found any cases of solar retinopathy, or when radiation from the sun touches the retina causing damage to eyes; however, symptoms of eye damage from the eclipse usually do not show up until 24-48 hours after the incident.

Derek Thompson, MU Health Care media relations coordinator, said the MU Health Care facilities have seen five patients with eye damage from the eclipse.

"After you've had a light flash and there's that residual image, if you had that for 25 to 30 minutes after viewing the eclipse, you were looking at it long enough to have done damage," Gamble said.

Gamble said patients who experience damage to their eyes from the eclipse will have symptoms of blurred visions or missing areas, but will not experience any pain or discomfort, because there aren't any pain receptors in the back of the eye. Gamble said part of the reason people experience eye damage is because they don't know when they are hurting their eyes, so they don't know when to stop looking at the sun. 

"If you think back to when you were a kid and you had a magnifying glass and you went out in the backyard to try to burn a hole in a piece of paper, that power in the magnifying glass that took the sun's energy and focused it onto a spot is essentially what your eye does as well," Gamble said. "The front surface of the eye of the cornea and the lens inside your eyes are essentially magnifying glasses."

Hallsville resident and Columbia Eye Consultant Optometry patient Ben Benskin said he did not want to take a chance on eye damage.

"I've got eye problems to start with, and I didn't want to take a chance on anything, so I made sure I had the glasses on all the time," Benskin said.

Gamble said the only way to tell if there is damage to a patient's eye is to have an optometrist take a look but, "the vast majority of individuals are going to be fine."

Gamble said many patients asked the optometrists about eye damage before the eclipse happened. Columbia Eye Consultant Optometry handed out 11,000 eclipse glasses to area schools and patients, with directions on how to safely use the glasses.

More News

Grid
List
JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri is one of three states that has not outlawed texting while driving for drivers 21 and... More >>
3 days ago Wednesday, February 21 2018 Feb 21, 2018 Wednesday, February 21, 2018 3:34:00 PM CST February 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – A local business owner is facing charges of marijuana possession and distribution. Osama Nadir Yanis and his... More >>
3 days ago Wednesday, February 21 2018 Feb 21, 2018 Wednesday, February 21, 2018 3:05:00 PM CST February 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Pharmacy specialists outlined ways to address the opioid crisis as they spoke Wednesday in Columbia. Faculty members... More >>
3 days ago Wednesday, February 21 2018 Feb 21, 2018 Wednesday, February 21, 2018 2:57:00 PM CST February 21, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri House is leaning toward making it a felony to purposefully send explicit images without consent,... More >>
3 days ago Wednesday, February 21 2018 Feb 21, 2018 Wednesday, February 21, 2018 2:55:00 PM CST February 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – Columbia Regional Airport canceled two departures and delayed an arrival Wednesday because of the weather; but not the... More >>
3 days ago Wednesday, February 21 2018 Feb 21, 2018 Wednesday, February 21, 2018 2:19:00 PM CST February 21, 2018 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The dangers of opioids are forcing police to change the way they test drugs... More >>
3 days ago Wednesday, February 21 2018 Feb 21, 2018 Wednesday, February 21, 2018 1:39:08 PM CST February 21, 2018 in News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — Authorities say a man and woman from Missouri have admitted to selling male enhancement pills that... More >>
3 days ago Wednesday, February 21 2018 Feb 21, 2018 Wednesday, February 21, 2018 1:18:08 PM CST February 21, 2018 in News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — A Springfield man has been found guilty of sexually assaulting a teenager with a mental disability... More >>
3 days ago Wednesday, February 21 2018 Feb 21, 2018 Wednesday, February 21, 2018 12:49:46 PM CST February 21, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — A Missouri bill would confiscate licenses from teenagers accused of unlawful driving. The Springfield... More >>
3 days ago Wednesday, February 21 2018 Feb 21, 2018 Wednesday, February 21, 2018 12:46:17 PM CST February 21, 2018 in News
TIPTON - What started off as a one-day service project has turned into a month-long fundraiser. Members of the... More >>
3 days ago Wednesday, February 21 2018 Feb 21, 2018 Wednesday, February 21, 2018 12:28:00 PM CST February 21, 2018 in News
TUSCUMBIA - The Miller County Prosecutor's Office charged a man with murder on Wednesday in connection with a September 2017... More >>
3 days ago Wednesday, February 21 2018 Feb 21, 2018 Wednesday, February 21, 2018 12:09:48 PM CST February 21, 2018 in News
JOPLIN (AP) — University libraries across Missouri are spending more of their budgets on online resources and subscriptions, as... More >>
3 days ago Wednesday, February 21 2018 Feb 21, 2018 Wednesday, February 21, 2018 11:26:29 AM CST February 21, 2018 in News
FORSYTH (AP) — Forest Service officials say wildfires in Taney County last week are being investigated as possible arson.... More >>
3 days ago Wednesday, February 21 2018 Feb 21, 2018 Wednesday, February 21, 2018 11:15:00 AM CST February 21, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — An Illinois megadonor is contributing $500,000 to the effort to make Missouri a right-to-work... More >>
3 days ago Wednesday, February 21 2018 Feb 21, 2018 Wednesday, February 21, 2018 10:59:41 AM CST February 21, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Officers arrested a man on Tuesday following an investigation into alleged domestic assault. The 74-year-old female... More >>
3 days ago Wednesday, February 21 2018 Feb 21, 2018 Wednesday, February 21, 2018 10:53:00 AM CST February 21, 2018 in News
TRENTON (AP) — Authorities say a man has been arrested in the theft of an ambulance from a northwest... More >>
3 days ago Wednesday, February 21 2018 Feb 21, 2018 Wednesday, February 21, 2018 9:37:11 AM CST February 21, 2018 in News
MARCELINE (AP) — Authorities say a train has struck and killed a third-grader in northern Missouri. The... More >>
3 days ago Wednesday, February 21 2018 Feb 21, 2018 Wednesday, February 21, 2018 9:28:00 AM CST February 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Solid Waste Utility and Downtown Community Improvement District will meet Wednesday night to discuss the... More >>
3 days ago Wednesday, February 21 2018 Feb 21, 2018 Wednesday, February 21, 2018 7:50:00 AM CST February 21, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 36°
1am 38°
2am 37°
3am 36°
4am 36°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

11:30p
2018 Olympic Winter Games
2:30a
Paid Program
3:00a
Paid Program
11:00p
Shark Lake
1:00a
Seinfeld
1:30a
Paid Program

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
2018 Olympic Winter Games
9:30p
A.P. Bio
7:00p
It Could Happen to You
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Family Guy