Doctors warn of potential eye dangers with Aug. 21 eclipse

Only takes seconds to damage eyes while looking at eclipse

MAITLAND, Fla. – Inside the Cohn Eye Center, all anybody can talk about is the upcoming eclipse. While News 6's camera were rolling, several people walked inside, trying to buy eclipse glasses.

"We were selling these for awhile, but we ran out of our stock as well," said Dr. Rick Cohn. The ophthalmologist has been prepping his patients for weeks, trying to raise awareness ahead of Monday's eclipse.

"People don't go blind from this but they will lose enough central vision to have their vision reduced from 20/20 to 20/50" he added. "And sometimes that comes back over a year, but sometimes it never comes back."

All it takes is less than a minute for you to damage your eyes while looking at the sun.

"The retina in the back of the eye is the part that gets damaged," he explained.

One of the biggest misconceptions Cohn is noticing is that many people think you can just get glasses or contacts if you damage your eyes during the eclipse.

"The problem is there is really no good treatment for this," he added. "It's a permanent condition and there's no eye drop or laser that's going to correct the condition." ​

Dr. Cohn recommends people try to find eclipse glasses that are approved by NASA ahead of Monday's event, instead of trying to make their own glasses using things like leftover film strips or dark sunglasses.

"It's really simple, either you don't look at it or you stay inside during those hours or you get a pair of something like these [approved] glasses.

The eclipse is scheduled to start a little before 1:30 p.m. on Monday and wrap up by 4:30 p.m. 

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