Have you ever used a magnifying glass to focus the suns light to burn anything before? Well that is exactly what is happening when you look directly into the sun through the lense of your eye. You have alot of optical light and infra-red light burning at a very focused point in the back of your eye–the retina. Your retina does not have pain receptors, so you may not feel the damage, but certainly are recieving it. If you look long enough, you will go blind.
Yes, you can go blind due to overexposure of the retina to the sun. This is due to directly staring at the sun, causing damage to your retina. Long periods of non-direct exposure can also cause long term sight issues such as cataracts.
Also, never even glance at the sun through binoculars, it can cause near-instant blindness by delivering around 300 times more light than viewing the sun through the naked eye
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