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Total Solar Eclipse 2024: 'Why do my eyes hurt?', 'hurt eyes' top Google search after celestial event

As Total Solar Eclipse 2024 darkened the skies cutting across some parts of the United States and Canada, there was an exponential increase in people looking to know "why do my eyes hurt?" and "my eyes hurt" on Google.

Total Solar Eclipse 2024:  'Why do my eyes hurt?', 'hurt eyes' top Google search after celestial event gcw
First Published Apr 9, 2024, 9:42 AM IST

Google searches for "why do my eyes hurt?", "hurt eyes," and "my eyes hurt" increased dramatically on Monday as millions of people saw the Total Solar Eclipse, which momentarily clouded the skies over North America and Mexico. The uncommon celestial event passed through the whole field of view for an estimated 31.6 million individuals.

The US states of Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine, as well as the Pacific coast of Mexico and Newfoundland, Canada, were able to witness the total solar eclipse. People will now have to wait at least 20 years until the next Total Solar Eclipse set to occur in August 2044.

As this was going on, more individuals were searching on Google because they either believed that their safety glasses were false or had forgotten to put them on altogether when they gazed up at the sky.

Ronald Benner, an optometrist and president of the American Optometric Association, suggested that if anyone was experiencing discomfort following the eclipse, then the person should immediately consult a doctor. He said, "The colors don't seem correct the next morning, or they can be completely bleached out or consistently blurry. It's possible that some people genuinely suffer eyesight defects."

Optometrists report that complaints regarding visual problems have been recorded during previous eclipses as well. During the 2017 Total Solar Eclipse, about 100 people reported “eclipse-related retinopathy”, said a report by the American Astronomical Society.

A majority of the affected patients comprised children and young adults. Solar retinopathy is when light injures retinas and does not cause immediate pain.

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