“By wearing the proper eye protection, everyone can enjoy this amazing spectacle of nature safely,” said Hugh R. Parry, president and CEO of Prevent Blindness.
June 26, 2017
Across North America on Monday, August 21, 2017, a solar eclipse will be visible to millions of people. According to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), a solar eclipse occurs when the moon blocks any part of the sun. As part of this eclipse, some parts of the United Stated will experience a brief total eclipse, when the moon completely blocks the sun’s face for up to 2 minutes 40 seconds.
However, looking directly at the sun can be very harmful to the eyes. In fact, exposing eyes to the sun without proper eye protection during a solar eclipse can cause “eclipse blindness” or retinal burns, also known as solar retinopathy. This exposure to the light can cause damage or even destroy cells in the retina (the back of the eye) that transmit what you see to the brain. This damage can be temporary or permanent and occurs with no pain. It can take a few hours to a few days after viewing the solar eclipse to realize the damage that has occurred.
Prevent Blindness, the nation’s oldest volunteer eye health and safety organization, has established a web page and free downloadable fact sheet with information about an eclipse, potential related dangers to vision, and how to protect your eyes from injury during the event.
Prevent Blindness offers the following tips on how to view the eclipse safely:
- Pinhole projection: This is the safest and most inexpensive way of watching a solar eclipse. This helps you avoid looking directly at the eclipse by…