UNITED STATES -- The Great American Solar Eclipse had a lot of people looking up on Monday, and they could now be feeling the effects.
Even with plenty of warnings, some people still took a glimpse at the sun. This could lead to solar retinopathy, which is like a sunburn to the eye. However, the impact would not even be noticeable until hours after the fact. Vision will start to diminish the next day and affected people will see a black spot in front of them that won't go away. Unfortunately, once the damage is done there is no cure.
"The underlaying tissue has been basically burnt, damaged, and lost its function," said Dr. Kimberlee Curnyn. "It would be a total loss of center vision. A black dot. So whenever an individual is trying to look at a letter or word when they are reading, that's the damaged portion of the retina that's trying to look at that. It is life changing."
Another effect of the eclipse is headaches. Google trends found an uptick in searches, but health experts agree safe eclipse viewing should not trigger a headache.
If you bought a pair of eclipse glasses to watch the big event, you may be wondering what to do with them now. If your glasses are made by one of the 12 eclipse glasses makers that meet the requirements of NASA and american astrological standards, they're good forever. This means if they're not scratched, torn, or punctured, you can use them the next time a total solar eclipse drifts over America in 2024.
If you don't want to hold on to them, some organizations are encouraging people to recycle their glasses. Pop out the special lenses and recycle the frames. The lenses may be able to be recycled with camera film, so contact a local camera shop about this. You can also donate them; Astronomers Without Borders says the glasses can be reused in other countries for future eclipses. The organization is planning a program to collect the glasses.