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There was a very concerning increase in certain Google searches right after the US eclipse

There was a very concerning increase in certain Google searches right after the US eclipse

Many people didn't wear eye protection.

All the talk last week has been focused on the total solar eclipse that passed over the US and Mexico just a few days ago.

More than 31 million people were expected to bear witness to the unique event that hasn't occurred since 2017 and before that, 1979.

If you did happen to miss it or weren't in a good spot for it, you might still have your chance in 2044.

Not only was news circulating about the best (and worst) places to observe the solar event, but experts were warning people not to look directly at the Sun during the event. After all, even with the moon's passing, staring at the sun is a big no-no - did you learn nothing as a child?!

Google Trends
Google Trends

Furthermore, experts cautioned against the purchase of counterfeit solar glasses that were flooding the market, offering no more protection than your average sunglasses.

Judging by spikes of certain Google search terms, it seems the advice slipped through the net for many.

According to Google search reports, the search term 'my eyes hurt' peaked at 3:12 p.m. ET - about 45 minutes after the path of the eclipse crossed into Texas from Mexico. By 5 pm on the Monday, searches returned to normal levels.

Other popular searches included: 'eyes hurt after looking at eclipse', 'my eyes hurt after looking at the eclipse', and most specifically, 'why do my eyes hurt after looking at the eclipse'.

For sceptics presuming that it's mere coincidence, looking at the data by state, it aligns a little too accurately with the path of totality - with West Virginia, Michigan, Ohio, Arkansas, and Indiana as the top five regions.


The American Academy of Ophthalmology explained that any pain or discomfort immediately after viewing the eclipse is not necessarily 'indicative of serious eye damage.'

'If your eyes feel a little funny after an eclipse, it may not be a sign of solar retinopathy. Damage from the eclipse is unlikely to cause pain or discomfort in your eyes because the retina does not have any pain nerves,' the specialists said.

Serious damage would likely present visual symptoms like blind spots or blurry vision within four to six hours of the event, according to ophthalmologists.

Nevertheless, medical advice should be sought if in doubt rather than consulting the World Wide Web.

Featured Image Credit: Google Trends / LeoPatrizi/Getty