On August 21, the United States will experience its first solar eclipse since 1979, and people are amped up. Americans are scrambling to buy last-minute eclipse glasses, schools are closing, and Bonnie Tyler is preparing to sing “Total Eclipse of the Heart” on Royal Caribbean’s Total Eclipse Cruise. But Lou Tomososki is worried. The 70-year-old Oregonian looked at a partial solar eclipse in 1962, and has suffered vision problems ever since.
“Millions of people out there are going to be looking out at it … How many of them are going to say, ‘Something happened to my eyes?’” he told Today. “That makes me sick.”
Tomososki and his friend, Roger Duval, were walking home from Marshall High School in Bend, Oregon, when they looked up at the partial eclipse for just a few seconds, during which Tomososki saw “flashes of light, much like he would after having a picture taken with a camera with a flashbulb.” They have both had problems with their vision ever since.
“It doesn’t get any worse and it doesn’t get any better. You know how the news people blur a license plate out? That’s what I have on the right eye, about the size of a pea, I can’t see around that.”
Sure, Tomososki’s is one of thousands of stories, and people will probably be fine if they wear eclipse glasses or make one of these silly-looking boxes, but it’s still a good case for staying inside on Monday.