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Is your post-eclipse headache a big deal? Here’s what you need to know

Is your post-eclipse headache a big deal? Pin It
Photo: Stocksy/Sean Locke

Across the country yesterday, everyone and their dogs went outside to catch a glimpse of the first total solar eclipse in the country since 1979. But it wasn’t all painless. Immediately following the eclipse, there were spikes in Google searches for eclipse-related ailments like “solar eclipse headache,” “seeing spots,” and “eyes hurt.”

If you woke up this morning and had difficulty reading or are seeing blurry or blind spots, consult a doctor immediately.

Damaged retinas are a real side effect of looking at the solar eclipse straight on, but if you started feeling any pain just minutes after getting back indoors, you probably have nothing to worry about. B. Ralph Chou, OD, and president of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, told Time that generally, any symptoms of eye damage wouldn’t start appearing until at least 12 hours after your viewing. However, if you woke up this morning and had difficulty reading or are seeing blurry or blind spots, you should consult a doctor immediately.

If your vision is normal but you’re experiencing headaches, you’re probably A-okay, experts say. Being outside, staring at the sun, using vision distorting glasses, and squinting can cause the discomfort that you’re mistaking for your post-eclipse retinal damage. So step away from your computer—no good tends to come from internet self-diagnosing.

There are still a couple of weeks left this month—here’s what to expect, according to your horoscope. And for good astrological measure, check out this eclipse-specific zodiac rundown.