How to avoid eye injuries during solar eclipse

(Source: WNEM)

The upcoming solar eclipse promises to be among the most anticipated celestial events of our time.

Among the excitement about seeing the shadow of the moon obscure the sun, it's easy to lose sight of the fact that watching it could cause you to lose your sight.

"It's a great event. It's so cool to see one," said Roberta Newton, resident.

For the first time in more than 38 years, Newton and the rest of the continental United States will get to see a total solar eclipse.

"Everybody is going to want to run out and see it. My main concern is the people are going to look directly at the sun without any UV protection or the appropriate protection and that could cause damage to your retinas," said Zachary Landers, injury prevention coordinator at Genesys Hospital.

Landers said on Monday spectators will need to be extra careful when watching the rare event.

"The safest thing for you to do is to get solar eclipse specific glasses or a hand held eclipse viewer. Both of these have a filter that is designed to filter out harmful rays," Landers said.

He said buyers should beware because some glasses are not the real deal and can cause injury. Authentic glasses will have "ISO 12312-2 Standard" written on them. They should completely block out light except for the sun, which will appear dim.

Doctors are urging people to carefully examine the glasses before use. You should look for scratches, pin holes or separation from the frame. Those could all lead to eye injury.

Landers said the NASA website has multiple vendors that are approved to sell glasses. He said if you or someone you know starts feeling pain in their eyes after the eclipse, go to the doctor.

"You need to seek medical treatment immediately. It is very painful and any damage that needs to be mitigated needs to happen right away," Landers said.

Newton said she will make sure to watch, but safety first.

"Cause that's very important to protect your eyes because if you lose your sight, you could be in trouble," Newton said.

Copyright 2017 WNEM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.


Digital Content Producer


Recommended for you