Local Man has Permanent Blind Spot from Viewing Solar Eclipse without Proper Eyewear: St. Louis Ophthalmologist Urges Eclipse Viewers to Wear Solar Glasses

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St. Louis ophthalmologist Dr. Jason Brinton of Brinton Vision warns Missourians to use solar viewing glasses after patient Robert Smith suffers permanent blind spot from solar retinopathy.

Robert Smith made the mistake of looking directly at an eclipse decades ago and ended up with solar retinopathy and a permanent blind spot in his right eye.

The Great American Solar Eclipse 2017 is just around the corner, and St. Louis ophthalmologist Dr. Jason P. Brinton of Brinton Vision is sending out a warning to everyone who plans to view the spectacle: “Don’t ruin your vision looking directly at the sun like one of my patients did.”

Though much of Missouri is in the eclipse’s path of totality and we all want to see the phenomenon, those warnings most of us heard as children really are true, said Brinton. “Though you are not likely to suffer total blindness from looking at the sun during the eclipse, you can still seriously damage your eyes. Solar retinopathy occurs when bright light from the sun floods the retina on the back of the eyeball. The retina is where light-sensing cells that make vision possible are located. During an eclipse, looking at the sun’s rays can cause the retina to release a flood of communication chemicals, ultimately damaging the retina and leaving people with a permanent blind spot.”

One of Brinton’s patients, Robert Smith, made the mistake of looking directly at an eclipse decades ago and ended up with solar retinopathy and a permanent blind spot in his right eye. Like so many others with this painless condition, Robert did not realize he was doing damage to his vision until it was too late.

“Solar retinopathy is all-too-common an occurrence during solar eclipses, yet it is completely preventable,” said Brinton.

The only safe way to view an eclipse is through special-purpose solar filters, such as those found in ISO-certified solar eclipse glasses. Brinton Vision provided 28,000 pairs to the Rockwood School District this month.

“As a LASIK surgeon, I get to see every day what a gift our vision is,” said Brinton. “People like Robert are a good example of just how important it is to take care of that gift.”

Smith agrees. “Just be sure to wear protective eyewear and preserve your vision so that you can enjoy this and many more events for years to come.”

Dr. Jason P. Brinton and Robert Smith are available for interviews. Contact Amanda Larson at 314.375.2020 or info(at)brintonvision(dot)com.

St. Louis LASIK surgeon Dr. Jason P. Brinton, MD is an internationally recognized specialist in the field of refractive surgery. He is a graduate of Harvard College, earned his medical doctorate from the Harvard Medical School, and is board certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology. He has been inducted to America’s Top Ophthalmologists by the Consumer Research Council of America, Leading Physicians of the World by the International Association of Healthcare Professionals, and Top Doctors in America by Castle Connolly. In 2015, he received global recognition as the recipient of the Visian ICL Young Ophthalmologist Award in Barcelona, Spain, and in 2016 was named Ocular Surgery News’ Premier Surgeon 300 Innovators in Refractive Cataract Surgery.

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Amanda Larson
Brinton Vision
+1 (314) 375-2020
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