A total solar eclipse is slated to happen on Monday, as the Moon will cross in front of the Sun, blotting out the light from our favorite star for a couple of minutes along a 70-mile-wide swath of the U.S. that runs from Oregon to South Carolina. Countless millions of Americans will be watching — but most of them will not be in the small zone of totality. And that’s what petrifies Lou Tomososki of Oregon City, Oregon. Tomososki, 70, was a high school kid in 1962 when he and a friend looked up to glance at a partial solar eclipse — “We were just doing it for a short time, he says” — and saw a flash of light similar to that of a camera flash. But the sun is not a camera. The next morning, Tomososki still had a blind spot in his right eye. And 55 years later, “Nothing has changed," he told TODAY. “It doesn’t get any worse or better.” The condition is called solar retinopathy — permanent damage to the retina caused by looking directly at the sun. "Anyone who stares at the sun can get this blind spot,” Dr. Russell N. Van Gelder, a professor of ophthalmology at University of Washington School of Medicine and clinical spokesman for the American Academy of Ophthalmology, told TODAY. “When you know that you have a problem is if that blind spot has not gone away (the next day)."
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