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Impact of Solar Eclipses on Vision: Insights from Optical Coherence Tomography and Optical Coherence Tomography Angiography Analysis.

PURPOSE: Solar retinopathy, resulting from solar eclipse exposure, poses risks to visual health. This study explores acute and chronic phase findings using clinical examinations and optical coherence tomography (OCT) and optical coherence tomography angiography (OCT-A) with a focus on longitudinal assessment.

METHODS: Seven eyes with a history of unprotected solar eclipse exposure were included. Clinical examination, fundus photography, OCT, and OCT-A imaging were performed at initial assessment, as well as at one-month and six-month follow-up intervals. Data analysis included descriptive statistics.

RESULTS: The cases, exposed without protection, underwent assessments, revealing variable visual acuity, outer retinal layer, and Henle fiber layer changes during follow-up. Regression of hyperreflectivity within the outer retinal and Henle fiber layers was observed over time in all eyes, although persistent microdefects within the outer retinal layer were noted in specific cases. OCT-A imaging revealed a larger foveal avascular zone, which persisted over a six-month period in select cases. Additionally, affected eyes exhibited a decrease in superficial vascular density, with subsequent improvement noted during the six-month period.

CONCLUSION: Solar retinopathy can result in visual impairment, accompanied by alterations observed in the Henle fiber layer using OCT. Additionally, OCT-A findings indicate possible vascular involvement. This study underscores the significance of adopting protective measures during solar eclipses and emphasizes the value of employing longitudinal multimodal imaging techniques to comprehend the pathophysiology of the condition.

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