Man with eye damage from 1962 eclipse: Don’t make the same mistake I did.

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Man with eye damage from 1962 eclipse: Don’t make the same mistake I did.

Lou Tomososki and his friend were walking home from high school in Oregon one day in 1962 when they looked up in the sky.

For weeks earlier, the whole town had been talking about an upcoming eclipse. But now was their chance to actually see it. As they watched, staring up at the sun, Lou saw flashes of light in his field of vision.

He had no idea they were the first signs of permanent eye damage. He experienced solar retinopathy, damage to his eye’s retina caused by the sun. Anyone who stares at the sun can get this blind spot.

Now he has a blind spot in the center of his right eye that persists to this day. He still struggles to see out of his right eye.

Lou is sharing his story now because of the upcoming August 2017 eclipse, and he doesn’t want what happened to him to happen to others.

“Millions of people out there are going to be looking out at it … How many of them are going to say, ‘Something happened to my eyes?’” he told Today. “That makes me sick.”

It’s not just eyes that can suffer. Cell phone cameras and sensors can also burn out when being aimed directly at the sun. To be safe, special eclipse glasses should be worn. Or, you can build your own pinhole viewer — advice that Lou was given back in the day that he wishes he had followed.

Hear Lou’s story in the video below, and be safe when experiencing this momentous cosmic event…

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