For millions of people last summer’s solar eclipse was a momentary spectacle, but for one New Yorker the sight of the moon crossing the sun is a vision that may never leave her view, burned as a crescent-shaped scar into her retina.
Close-ups of her damaged eye tissue—reportedly the most detailed of their kind—were published online Thursday in the journal JAMA Ophthalmology by solar retinopathy specialist Avnish Deobhakta and his colleagues at the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai.
Eye specialists at major medical centers in Oregon, Kansas and Pennsylvania said in interviews this week that they encountered cases of eclipse-related eyestrain, but none so severe or well-documented as the plight of the woman in New York who last August made the mistake of borrowing sunglasses from a stranger to watch the celestial show. Now she sees the dark blot of the eclipse wherever she looks.
“It’s amazing,” said retinal specialist Sunir Garg at the Wills Eye Hospital in Philadelphia, who has studied the images but wasn’t involved in the patient’s treatment. “The pattern of the injury is that same crescent shape that you would see viewing the eclipse."
This story originally appeared in The Wall Street Journal.