By Dulce Maria Ruelas, MPH
Faculty, College of Nursing and Health Care Professions
The eclipse has passed and left a mark of enthusiasm, regardless of whether you watched it or not. A great deal of information and safety precautions was disseminated via radio, television and social media. Yet, what does the Great American Eclipse have to do with public health?
Public health exists as a prevention mechanism of disease and to prolong life. Therefore, this event sparks eye health and the environment as the link to public health.
The spectacular event of the 2017 eclipse may have left communities with questions on how and when or if they were safely looking at the natural wonder. If you feel that you were not well prepared or informed about the precautions to take in viewing the eclipse, then here are some recommendations to follow up on:
Signs and Symptoms of Eye Damage
Review the list above to see if the sun may have caused damage to your eyes. Such damage is also known as “eclipse blindness” or “retinal burns.”
- Loss of central vision
- Distorted vision
- Altered color vision
If you started exhibiting signs and symptoms after viewing the eclipse, then seek treatment. It is important to note that there is no pain associated with this injury.
How to Seek Help
Eye care professionals are the most appropriate to advise you if you a have concern. Do not hesitate to seek care. These professionals are the best to answer questions in regards to level of damage and treatment. In the end it is important to always take precautionary measures when looking at the sun, regardless of an eclipse or not. Today’s health and safety measures are elemental to the well-being of future generations.
Do you need more information?
- Call your healthcare provider
- Visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention: cdc.gov/features/solar-eclipse-safety/index.html
- Review this Prevent Blindness document: preventblindness.org/sites/default/files/national/documents/fact_sheets/FS110_SolarEclipse_0.pdf
The College of Nursing and Health Care Professions is committed to helping students fill evolving healthcare roles. Learn more by visiting our website or contacting us using the Request More Information button.
More about Dulce:
Dulce Maria Ruelas was born in Mexico and immigrated to the U.S. with her mother at the age of four. Over the years, Dulce has worked with a variety of disparate populations like the migrant and seasonal farmworkers; homeless, foster infant and children; substance-exposed infants and children; and immigrant and low-income families. She has worked across all 15 Arizona counties and in Chicago to find health and dental services for pregnant women and children. Additionally, she has created enduring community partnerships with healthcare providers, dentists and hospitals. Dulce has a direct one-on-one service to the community as she is a breastfeeding counselor, helping form a healthier tomorrow. Dulce holds a Bachelor of Science in health sciences with an emphasis in health education, Bachelor of Arts in Spanish literature and Master of Public Health and is currently seeking a Doctor of Philosophy in health psychology.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University.