Many of us anxiously watched the August solar eclipse through protective glasses (or, let’s be honest, by avoiding windows indoors), terrified at what might happen if we were to look directly at the sun. Well, unfortunately, one woman in Staten Island ended up doing just that — and received a crescent-shaped burn on her retina as a result, the Washington Post reports.
Nia Payne, 26, glanced at the sun during the historic solar eclipse for about six seconds before realizing she should use eye protection, the Post notes. She then borrowed what she believed to be eclipse glasses from someone nearby, and looked at the sun — which was 70 percent covered — for 15 to 20 more seconds. Alas, according to a study published Thursday by JAMA Ophthalmology, it turns out they weren’t the right glasses.
As a result, Payne saw a black spot — shaped like the crescent of the eclipse — in the center of her vision for the next two days. Doctors were reportedly “astonished” when scans showed that the black spot in Payne’s vision and the damage on her retina were “mirror images” of the eclipse. And the black crescent apparently never goes away for Payne.
Speaking with CNN, Payne said, “So far, it’s a nightmare, and sometimes it makes me very sad when I close my eyes and see it. It’s embarrassing. People will assume I was just one of those people who stared blankly at the sun.”
Hmm, we wonder how this guy is doing after looking at the eclipse.