In 1962, when he was 15-years-old, a guy named Lou Tomososki was walking home from his high school with a buddy when they decided to stare up at the partial solar eclipse occurring overhead. Though they only looked at it for a few moments, the damage that Tomososki’s eyes suffered as a result of that decision was permanent. Tomososki told Today that since then he has seen flashes in his vision, similar to those that you would see for a minute or two after having a flashbulb go off in your face. He also said that the retina in his right eye was burned, causing a partial blind spot in the center. Five-and-a-half decades later that problem hasn’t changed.
Now 70-years-old, Tomososki is hoping that people won’t repeat his mistake during the “Great American Eclipse,” that is set to occur this upcoming Monday, August 21.
“It’s going to be over real quick and it’s not worth taking a chance,” he said to KGW. “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? That makes me sick.” He also said that he wished he had been informed of the dangers of staring into a solar eclipse back when it could’ve actually helped him.
Now, for those of you still debating whether to look at the sun without proper protection, here’s him detailing his eye injury. “It doesn’t get any worse and it doesn’t get any better,” he said. “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.”
Additionally, Dr. G. Baker Hubbard of the Emory Eye Center in Atlanta spoke to Fox 5 about the dangers of glancing at the sun in the midst of the rare occurrence. “When you partially obscure the sun with the moon, it’s not so bright, and it’s not so painful to actually look at it,” Hubbard said. “But, even though it’s not painful, those harmful rays are still getting in your eyes and focused right onto the center of your retina, and that’s where it does the damage.”
On Monday you’ll get your chance to see a solar eclipse for yourself. But, really, who gives a shit? It’s rare but it’s still just the sun, you’ll see cooler things in your life. Follow the above warning(s) and pass it up.