Man, 71, burned his retina looking at eclipse as a teen: 'Why take a chance with your eyes?'


A 20-second look at the sun in 1962 cost Lou Tomososki much of the sight in his right eye.

So he has some words of advice for kids and teens tempted to look at the upcoming solar eclipse: You'll be sorry!

Read: 'Total Eclipse of the Heart' Is a Sensation Again, 34 years later, Thanks to Solar Event

"Why take a chance with your eyes?" the 71-year-old Oregon man told InsideEdition.com Monday.

SEE: States where you can see the total solar eclipse of 2017:

16 PHOTOS
States where you can see the total solar eclipse of 2017
See Gallery
States where you can see the total solar eclipse of 2017

Salem's the first sizable U.S. city with a chance to catch the eclipse when it hits Oregon.

Source: NASA

The eclipse will hit residents in Idaho next, with an opportunity to see totality in Idaho Falls. In Boise? Drive north a bit for your chance at totality.

Source: NASA

The eclipse sweeps across most of Wyoming, with Casper perfectly placed along the center of the path -- which means the eclipse will last longer there than on the outer edges.

Source: NASA

In Montana, but don't want to leave the state to get your eclipse fix? Totality will be visible from a tiny sliver of the Southwest corner of the state, but it's probably easier to just drive all the way to Idaho or Wyoming instead.

Source: NASA

Plenty of Nebraskans will have the chance to catch totality -- as the moon's shadow passes from the northwest corner of the state to the southeast corner.

Source: NASA

Like Montana, the total eclipse path will scrape across the tiniest portion of Iowa, but again, your best bet will likely be to travel into a state to your south or west instead. 

Source: NASA

You can catch the total eclipse from Kansas too if you head up to the northeast corner.

Source: NASA

Folks in Kansas City will get to see the total eclipse in Missouri, along with those in Columbia as it heads southeast across the state. St. Louis residents might need to drive a bit to see the total show.

Source: NASA

Residents of southern Illinois will get a total eclipse treat too, but anyone north of Belleville will need to drive to catch the big sight.

Source: NASA

Most folks in southwest Kentucky will get a chance to see the moon's shadow too.

Source: NASA

The eclipse will sweep across a big swath of Tennessee next, hitting Nashville and sweeping between Knoxville and Chattanooga.

Source: NASA

The northeast corner of Georgia is in the eclipse's path too. 

Source: NASA

Only a handful of North Carolinians will be able to see the total eclipse from their homes, as it hits a tiny portion of the southwest corner of the state.

Source: NASA

Source: NASA

Check out the entire eclipse's path!

Source: NASA

HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

He was a teenager when his science teacher told the class about a solar eclipse happening that afternoon.

So he and his buddy, Roger Duval, stood in front of their high school and looked up. He remembers watching the moon pass over the sun.

He thought nothing of it at the time, he said.

"There's no sign" that your eye is being damaged, he said. "You just squint. You don't feel anything."

On the walk home, "there was a little bit of a blurry spot," he said. Luckily, he had looked at the eclipse with only one eye.

But even that left him with a pea-sized blank spot in his right eye.

"The damage was done right then and there," he said of his 20-second glimpse of a solar eclipse. "The longer you look at it, the more damage is done."

He didn't realize that the sun had burned a hole in his retina until months later, during a visit to the eye doctor.

He couldn't see past the second line of the eye chart when the physician told him to close his left eye and read the letters in front of him.

Read: Partial Solar Eclipse Captivates the Globe

"The sun is 93 million miles away and look what it can do," he said.

He and Duval, who've been friends since the fourth grade, are speaking publicly about the danger of looking at the rare celestial event on Aug. 21, when the eclipse will be visible in North America.

"If we can save just one person from looking up at that thing," that will be enough to please them both.

"Why would you a take chance with your eyes?" he said.

RELATED: See the best hotels to stay at to see the Great American Eclipse:

10 PHOTOS
Best hotels to stay at to see the Great American Eclipse
See Gallery
Best hotels to stay at to see the Great American Eclipse

Bend, Oregon, is set to be one of the first locations to experience the solar eclipse, and the brand new SpringHill Suites is hosting its signature 'Art of Local' event for both guests and the community on August 19 to ring in the phenomenon.

SpringHill Suites by Marriott, located in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, lies just 15 minutes from Grand Teton National Park, one of the projected locations within the eclipse's path. To celebrate, a Pink Floyd tribute band will be performing a celestial-inspired concert set to wow fans and star-gazers alike.
The Westin Riverfront Resort & Spa at Beaver Creek Mountain in Avon, Colorado, is offering a special package for space fanatics that has a fun educational component. The deal includes suite accommodations, access to an exclusive solar event with the Vail Valley's Walking Mountains Science Center, evening s'mores and special viewing glasses.
As the largest city entirely within the path of this total solar eclipse, Nashville, Tennessee, is one of the best places to take in the natural show. The Renaissance Nashville Hotel is offering a Solar Eclipse Package for guests seeking to make the most of this once-in-a-lifetime experience. It includes deluxe accommodations, a pair of eclipse glasses, an eclipse t-shirt and two tickets to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.
Gaylord Opryland Resort offers guests and families an unforgettable getaway with all the excitement and energy of Music City. The sprawling property will provide guests with eclipse viewing glasses and viewing tips upon check-in. On August 21, travelers can stroll over to the designated viewing area on the event lawn where eclipse-themed beverages and snacks will be available for purchase.
Columbia, South Carolina, is predicted to be the home of the longest total solar eclipse for a metro area on the East Coast. The centrally-located Courtyard Columbia Downtown at USC is the perfect hotel for travelers looking to celebrate all week long, as the town will host more than 50 eclipse-related festivals and events between August 18 and 21.
The Great American Eclipse is set to cross 21 states and select hotels will be offering viewing glasses for guests including Four Points by Sheraton Little Rock Midtown in Arkansas ...
... the JW Marriott Indianapolis in Indiana ...
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

Watch: The Right and Wrong Glasses to Wear For the Upcoming Solar Eclipse

Read Full Story