Woman Describes Partial Blindness She Incurred From Staring at an Eclipse

By: Stephanie Bontorin | Published: Apr 21, 2024

In 2017, a woman learned a harsh lesson during the last total solar eclipse.

While feeling no immediate consequences after looking at the eclipse, she says she woke up the next day and was concerned about partial blindness.

Sharing Her Story

A woman who goes by “Bridget” online (@iambridgeet), took to the internet to share her story and warn other people from making the same mistake.

A woman standing in front of a brick building wearing sunglasses, a white turtleneck sweater, and a black leather jacket

Source: @iambridgeet/Instagram

She says she now suffers from permanent eye damage due to the event.

A Short Look Cost Her Big

Even though Bridget only looked at the eclipse for about 15 seconds, she experienced drastic changes to her vision when she woke up the next morning.

A man wearing a red button down shirt and a hat uses a pair of glasses to look at the eclipse

Source: Adil Abdrakhamanov/Getty Images

The pain and damage from looking at an eclipse doesn’t happen immediately. Often, the damage takes some time to set in.

NASA Shares the Facts About Looking at an Eclipse

In the wake of the 2024 solar eclipse, NASA shared their best practices for viewing a total eclipse safely.

An upwards image of the moon passing in front of the sun causing a solar eclipse

Source: JamesBrey/Getty Images

Scientists at NASA share that looking directly at the sun can cause significant danger, even if no immediate pain is present. Visual effects can become present several hours after looking directly at the sun.

Shared Similarities With Former President Trump

Former President Donald Trump famously looked directly at the solar eclipse while in office, regardless of experts telling him not to.

Former President Donald Trump stands on stage wearing a black suit jacket and a blue/purple tie while holding a peace sign

Source: Wikipedia Commons

In the video, Bridget claims that she regrets having this trait in common with Donald Trump.

Experiencing Negative Effects

The next morning, when she woke up, Bridget claims she experienced a large blind spot in her vision.

The moon passes in front of the sun creating a total eclipse

Source: Jongsun Lee/Unsplash

When she walked around her house and attempted to readjust her vision, she was still experiencing the same effects.


Rushing to the Eye Doctor

After rushing to an emergency appointment at the optometrist, she says that she found out she had permanent damage to her eye.

A woman has her eyes tested at a large machine by an optometrist wearing a mask and a white t-shirt

Source: Soweto Graphics/Unsplash

The doctor explained that due to the sun damage, she now had “slow 20/20 vision” with a small blind spot that would never recover.


The Actual Damage Explained

The Journal  of American Medical Association outlines the exact type of damage that occurs in a person’s eye during such an event.

A man holds a pinhole tool up to the sun to create a shadow effect of the eclipse

Source: Lucia Maranca Quijano/Getty Images

Every second of viewing the sun during an eclipse causes permanent burns to the “macula,” an integral part of the retina inside of the eye.


Eye Tissue Cannot Be Fixed

Once the retina is damaged, the vision loss will be permanent.

A man walks down the sidewalk of a park wearing a red polo shirt, a pair of jeans, and holds a white cane

Source: Diego Cervo/Canva

The eye tissue can never be repaired and the vision loss will last a lifetime. Depending on how long the sun was looked at will determine how severe the vision loss is.


Other People Sounding the Alarm on Eye Damage

People who looked at an eclipse as long as 60 years ago share the same concerns.

A woman wears a red, white, and black striped t-shirt and looks up at the sky while wearing a pair of eclipse glasses

Source: Spiderplay/Getty Images

A man who looked at the solar eclipse in 1962 still suffers from eye damage and vision loss. He still shares about his experience and brings awareness to this issue.


The Damage Is Centralized

Lou Tomososki looked at the eclipse in Bend, Oregon, while walking home from school with his friend.

An older man with white hair sits in a chair and looks towards the sky wearing a pair of red eclipse glasses

Source: MargoeEdwards/Getty Images

After looking at the sun for just a few seconds, he now experiences a pea shaped area of blurred vision. The blurry spot has lasted his entire lifetime. His experience shows truly how long term the danger is.


Heed the Warning

Although some people are unaffected by staring directly at an eclipse, many will not be as lucky.

A solar eclipse occurs over a mountain range with a red sky

Source: Igor Zhuravlov/Getty Images

Try to avoid former President Trump’s lead and use the proper eye wear when experiencing the wonder of a solar eclipse.