Woman who suffered eclipse eye damage urges caution

KING 5's Amy Moreno reports.

A Shoreline woman is warning others about the permanent eye damage she received when she tried looking at a solar eclipse in the U.S. when she was a child.

Barbara Twaddell of Shoreline is among those who headed to Oregon for the optimal eclipse viewing Monday, but it's not the first time she's seen one.

The first eclipse she saw as a child was a partial one in 1960.  Her fifth-grade teacher took the class outside to watch it.

“I was interested in astronomy, and I wanted to stay out, and I watched the whole thing,” she said.

Twaddell said there wasn't much awareness about damaging your eyes back then.

“We kind of cupped our hands over our eyes to get a slit and it wasn't painful at all,” she said.  “That night I went home and my eye was kind of aching.”

Soon she started to notice letters were missing in words and she failed an eye test.

“I went to the eye doctor, and he told me I had quite a few burns in the retina on my left eye, and he told me it was permanent," she said.

She went on to watch the eclipse in 1979 and is in Oregon for a front row seat for this eclipse.

“I just hope people know to protect their eyes and don't think they can look for a little while because you can burn,” she said.  “It can be worse than mine, and it affected me for a long time, so I would say use protection, especially little kids."

She's been giving special eclipse glasses to everyone she knows and doesn't want anyone to miss this spectacular event. She just hopes they do it safely.

"It's an event. I just love seeing that and getting dark, seeing stars in the middle of the day," she said.
 

© 2017 KING-TV


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