Solar eclipse 2017: Searches for 'eyes hurt' spikes for eclipse

Posted at 9:44 PM, Aug 21, 2017

With the solar eclipse over, people may begin feeling the effects of the event on their eyes. 

Without question, there were more people scouring the internet for information on eye injuries. 

Searches for the phrase "eyes hurt" spiked on Google, according to company-issued data. The term reached "peak popularity" on Monday, according to data from Google Trends

Doctors warned that if protective glasses weren’t worn during the eclipse, damage could be done to a person’s eyes. Sometimes symptoms can be identified right away, but in many cases, it can take hours after the eclipse.

The Vanderbilt Eye Institute opened special clinics specifically to treat eclipse-related eye injuries. As of Monday evening, no one had come to the clinic for treatment, but doctors expected to see more patients Tuesday.

“We’re expecting some patients with solar retinopathy, which is damage to the retina caused by intense lights,” said Dr. Sean Donohue, Professor of Ophthalmology at Vanderbilt.

Symptoms to look out for include eye irritation, blurred vision, distortions, blind spots in vision, or altered color vision.  Dr. Donohue said look out for the same symptoms in children.

“If your child is complaining of headaches, or light sensitivity that isn’t a serious problem,” said Dr. Donohue.  “If they can’t see something out of one eye, or have a blind spot, that is something that needs to be evaluated.