Gazing at 1963 eclipse for just 20 seconds partially blinded OR man

Camille Francis
August 19, 2017

He was walking home from Marshall High School in OR when the solar eclipse happened and with people being all excited about the event in the weeks leading to it, the boys joined in.

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.

The doctor says there is no time that you can look directly at the sun safely without special equipment.

Nobody was talking about safety glasses back then, so he watched it with the naked eye, closing his left eye and leaving his right eye open.

"If you take a lens that has that much power and point it directly at the sun, the energy becomes very high", and is enough to literally burn holes in the retina, or the light-sensitive cells at the back of the eye, Dr. Russell Van Gelder, a clinical spokesman for the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) and director of the University of Washington Medicine Eye Institute in Seattle, told Live Science in July.

Portland-based Louis Tomososki was only 16 years old when he looked straight at the sun in the partial solar eclipse of 1963. If the sun hits the front of your eye, it can cause solar keratitis.

In the 54 years since that eclipse, he said the blind spot hasn't gotten any worse or any better.

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Without that protection, many could suffer serious eye damage like Tomososki.

"There's no sign", he told

There is no scientifically proven treatment available for the damage, Suh said.

Tomososki said that he wished he knew more about the risks of looking at the sun during an eclipse that day, and he hopes that others will heed his warning to wear eye protection during the upcoming eclipse.

"Some damage occurs pretty quickly, but a lot of damage can take hours to days to really come to bear", Lujan said. Van Gelder told TODAY when the disc of the moon covers the sun and corona of the sun is visible, it is safe to look at it.

While Tomososki's teachers warned him to use a pinhole projector box, which creates a reflection of the eclipse for safe viewing, he didn't heed the warning.

According to KGW, Tomososki says he will be outside on August 21, but he won't be looking skyward. "The first thing they say is, 'You looked at a solar eclipse sometime in your life, '" he said.

Other reports by My Hot News

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