Solar Eclipse 2024: Know How This Astronomical Event Increases The Risk Of Eye Damage

During solar eclipses, harmful rays are emitted which can impact your health negatively. It is, therefore, important that you take precautionary measures to keep yourself protected. The rays emitted during a solar eclipse increase eye damage risks. Read on to know how solar eclipses increase the risk of eye damage.
Solar eclipse

Know How Solar Eclipse Increases The Risk Of Eye Damage

Solar eclipse, also known as Surya Grahan is an astronomical event wherein the moon partially or completely covers the sun, thereby, casting a shadow on Earth. There are different types of solar eclipses depending on the alignment of the sun, moon, and Earth. During this celestial event, there are harmful rays emitted which can impact your health negatively. It is, therefore, important that you take precautionary measures to keep yourself protected.
The first solar eclipse of the year will be observed on April 8, 2024, and will be a total solar eclipse. A total solar eclipse will be one where the sun is completely covered by the moon. This reveals the sun’s outer-most atmosphere which is known as the corona.
The rays emitted during a solar eclipse increase eye damage risks and therefore, it is important that you take necessary precautions to keep your eyes safe and protected. Here, take a look at how solar eclipses increase the risk of eye damage.

Direct Sun Exposure

One of the primary risks associated with solar eclipses is direct exposure to the sun’s rays. During an eclipse, when the moon covers the sun, a lot of people tend to look at the celestial phenomenon without taking adequate eye protection. Staring at the sun, even for a small period of time can cause serious damage to the retina.

UV Radiation

Solar eclipses can increase the risk of eye damage due to increased levels of ultraviolet (UV) radiation. The Earth’s atmosphere provides you with some protection from UV rays under normal conditions. However, during an eclipse, the sun’s UV radiation remains high and can cause harm to the eyes. Prolonged exposure to UV radiation can lead to photokeratitis which is also known as “sunburn of the eye,” and long-term damage, including cataracts and macular degeneration.

Infrared Radiation

In addition to UV radiation, solar eclipses also emit infrared (IR) radiation, which can penetrate deeply into the eye and cause thermal damage to ocular tissues. Unlike UV radiation, which primarily affects the surface of the eye, IR can reach the retina and other internal structures, increasing the risk of severe and irreversible eye damage.

Temporary Blindness

Staring at the sun during a solar eclipse can result in temporary blindness, known as solar retinopathy. Solar retinopathy occurs when the sun’s light affects the retina, causing cells in the retina to become damaged or destroyed. Symptoms of solar retinopathy may persist for days, weeks or even longer after the eclipse.

Lack of Pain Response

One of the dangers of solar retinopathy is that it may not cause immediate pain or discomfort, leading people to underestimate the severity of their eye injury. Unlike injuries to the skin or other parts of the body, eye damage from solar exposure may not cause a pain response until the damage has already been done.

Potential for Permanent Vision Loss

While most cases of solar retinopathy result in temporary vision problems, severe or prolonged exposure to the sun during a solar eclipse can lead to permanent vision loss. Damage to the retina and other ocular parts may be irreversible, resulting in impaired vision or blindness.
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