Is staring at the sun bad for my eyes?

Is staring at the sun bad for my eyes?


Earlier this week, a young patient of mine asked “Dr. Jessica, is it bad for me to stare at the sun?”  I’m sure the abundant sunshine we’ve had this week prompted the question, so lets learn about solar retinopathy today…

Whether you’re looking at the sun during a solar eclipse or on a regular day, the light emitted from the sun can cause permanent damage to the retina.  Light from the sun focuses on the part of the retina responsible for your central vision, called the macula.  This is the most sensitive and visually sharp part of the retina.  The light rays focus onto the macula and cause inflammation.  This causes vision loss or even a scotoma (missing spot of vision).  Imagine putting a little burn mark in the back of your eye, definitely a bad idea!  Usually the vision loss is reversible although it may take up to a few months.   If you think you may have enjoyed the sun a little too much and have solar retinopathy, consult your doctor of optometry as soon as possible.

Dr. Jessica Chang, OD


Vancouver Kerrisdale Optometrist

Contact Avenue Eyecare to book your appointment today.