By Alex Ruppenthal, Chicago Tonight/WTTW
Just like a sunburn to the skin, the pain caused by exposing your eyes to direct sunlight usually follows hours or even a day later.
That’s why Monday’s solar eclipse is particularly dangerous, said Dr. Neil Bressler, head of the retina division at the Johns Hopkins Wilmer Eye Institute in Baltimore.
The event will mark the first solar eclipse visible in parts of the U.S. since 1979, and the first total solar eclipse to cross the country in 99 years.
As the moon starts to block our view of the sun – covering up to 87 percent of it in Chicago by early afternoon – some might be tempted to witness the rare event with their naked eye, Bressler said. But even though the sun will be partially blocked, he said the remaining light is enough to cause vision damage after as little as 10 seconds of exposure.