Cautionary tale: Man goes partially blind after 1963 solar eclipse

A Portland man who watched a solar eclipse in 1963 says the experience left him partially blind in one eye and now he wants everyone to know the warnings about eye damage during the upcoming eclipse are no joke

A total solar eclipse is slated to happen on Monday, as the Moon will cross in front of the Sun, blotting out the light from our favorite star for a couple of minutes along a 70-mile-wide swath of the US that runs from OR to SC.

Lou Tomososki was a high school teen in 1962 when his science teacher told the class about a solar eclipse that was going to take place that afternoon, NBC affiliate KGW reported.

"With a solar eclipse, it'll be a lot more comfortable to look at the sun because about 80% of it will be blocked the maximum time; but, If you're comfortable looking at the sun, the harmful rays are going to damage your eyes significantly", said Dr.Clifford.

In an interview broadcast on the USA Today Network, Tomososki, now 70, likened the blind spot in his right eye to seeing a license plate that's been blurred out.

"Millions of people out there are going to be looking out at it..." Tomososki simply looked up at the sky with his naked eyes. Both incurred significant damage to their eyes.

Years later during a check-up, his doctor immediately recognized the signs and asked him if he looked at a solar eclipse.

The damage occurs in the fovea, a spot in the retina that is responsible for sharp, central vision.

People with solar retinopathy show a very characteristic pattern of eye damage during an exam.

Brandon Lujan, an assistant professor of Opthamology in OR, told Fox 12 that damage can become apparent immediately after looking at the sun OR after a delay of a few hours to a few days.

So eclipse glasses are a must on Monday.

According to experts, the only time it is safe to look at the sun is when it is completely eclipsed by the moon.

While his vision problem hasn't held him back, Tomososki wishes he would have known better than to look directly at a partially eclipsed sun. The CDC said that damage can sometimes take days to appear. Our sister site Space.com has a complete guide for how to view an eclipse safely.

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