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A 19-year-old male asked:

I looked at the sunset with binoculars for 1 or less seconds by accident. can i go blind? what can happen? what should i look for as symptoms? :(

3 doctor answers6 doctors weighed in
Dr. Ralph Morgan Lewis
Family Medicine 39 years experience
See below: Looking at the sun directly or through binoculars or a telescope without proper filters can cause damage to the retinas. See an ophthalmologist who can thoroughly examine your retinas for any damage your may have sustained. If multiple areas are involved, you may notice blind spots in your vision.
Dr. Paul Bruer
Ophthalmology 41 years experience
Sun gazing: It is never a good idea to stare at the sun. Your brief exposure most likely resulted in no damage to your retinas.
Dr. Ilan Cohen
Ophthalmology 26 years experience
No: Staring at the sun or other sources of bright light can cause solar retinopathy. This is a condition where the photo-receptors in the center of the retina become damaged, limiting the visual acuity. It cannot lead to total blindness. If you have no symptoms of decreased vision at this time, i would not be concerned.

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Last updated Mar 24, 2013

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