Don't stare at the sun: A Tennessee woman's warning ahead of the eclipse

Dr. Mark Kapperman examines Joyce Gladson's eye (IMAGE: WTVC) 

It's a mistake one Dayton woman says she made nearly thirty years ago that she'll have to live with for the rest of her life.

NewsChannel 9 asked Joyce Gladson to meet us at Kapperman & White Eyecare Thursday to see Dr. Mark Kapperman, in order to get a better understanding of the damage the sun really caused.

"It looks like almost a little hole in the macula and that is solar retinopathy, classic," said Dr. Kapperman during the exam.

It happened after Gladson stared into the sun during the 1977 solar eclipse.

"What I did notice immediately was a lot of bright lights that I was seeing that didn't go away," said Gladson.

From that point on, Gladson never saw the same way again.

"This was something that I knew I was going to have to live with for the rest of my life," said Gladson.

So what does a damaged macula mean?

To help us better understand, Gladson undergoes an OCT test, or Optical coherence tomagraphy.

It's basically an ultrasound that lets you see the different layers of the retina.

"Literally, that's where a hole was created from you looking at the sun," said Dr. Kapperman.

To sum it all up, Gladson wants to share this one message with you.

"Don't do what I did and make the mistake of looking at the sun," said Gladson.

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