Crescent shape blocks woman’s vision after viewing August’s solar eclipse

WATCH: The total solar eclipse has made its way across the US from coast to coast. Here’s what it looked like in cities across the country.

After 26-year-old Nia Payne watched the solar eclipse on Aug. 21, she found herself in the emergency room with a crescent shape blocking her vision shortly thereafter.

While she went to a hospital in Staten Island, N.Y., CNN reports staff there didn’t take her complaint seriously. It wasn’t until Payne went to Mount Sinai Hospital two days later that she was referred to specialists at the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai.

See Global News coverage of the solar eclipse on August 21, 2017: 

She was then diagnosed with solar retinopathy – retinal damage from exposure to solar radiation – in both eyes. The condition was worse in her left eye than in her right eye, and it may either improve or deteriorate. Either way, however, there is no cure.

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Doctors from the American Astronomical Society told CNN that the eclipse glasses Payne used were likely not up to par on international safety standards.

See Global News coverage of the solar eclipse on August 21, 2017: 

Those who wanted to view the eclipse this past summer were urged to purchase specific glasses that met the ISO 12312-2 standard. Due to the viral popularity of the event, there was a widespread shortage of glasses, prompting Payne to borrow a pair from a woman nearby. Payne noticed the dark spot six hours later, and lost vision in the centre of her eye the next day.

Doctors used adaptive optics machines to image her eyes, in addition to normal imaging techniques, to get a better idea of the extent of the damage.

READ MORE: A total eclipse captured our readers’ hearts this week

The imaging revealed that the crescent shape obstructing Payne’s vision corresponded to the exposed sun in New York City during the eclipse.

“That really has never been able to be seen before. Our intuitions are shown to be correct by this very precise technology,” Dr. Avnish Deobhakta told CNN, who then asked Payne to participate in a case study on the phenomenon. 

READ MORE: Google searches for ‘solar eclipse headache’ spiked on Monday afternoon

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While Payne continues to retrain her eye, her vision has not worsened, nor has it improved. The doctors who authored the study based on Payne’s condition hope adaptive optics will pave the way to developing a treatment for solar retinopathy in the future.

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