Hi there and welcome back to our blog. On Monday, August 21, a total solar eclipse will be visible here in Charleston for the first time since 1979. While this celestial event is sparking excitement across the nation, it also raises concern for those of us in the eye care profession. Looking directly at the sun is always dangerous, yet viewing a solar eclipse during the partial phase without the proper protection is very risky and can seriously harm your eyes, and may even cause blindness. Today, we will discuss the viewing approaches to avoid, while also recommending safe viewing options.
Viewing Methods to Avoid
As NASA suggests, it is safe to view the solar eclipse during “totality,” when the moon completely blocks out the sun, and the sun’s brightness is similar to that of a full moon. Otherwise, the sun is dangerously bright and can seriously damage your eyes. Avoid these approaches when watching the eclipse:
- Ordinary Sunglasses: Even sunglasses with powerful UV protection do not provide the necessary strength to protect your eyes during the partial phase of the eclipse.
- Un-Filtered Viewing Devices: Avoid looking at the partially eclipsed sun through a telescope, binoculars, an unfiltered camera, or other optical devices.
Take a Safer Approach
Try these safe viewing apparatuses instead:
- Eclipse Glasses & Projectors: Museums and science centers often provide eclipse glasses and build-your-own projectors. You can also purchase viewing devices from this list of reputable vendors for solar viewers and eclipse sunglasses.
- Solar Filters: Many optical devices feature solar filters, but it’s best to do your research before using these to view the solar eclipse. Inspect your solar filter for scratches or tears and discard your filter if it’s damaged.
Schedule an Eye Exam
We at Crescent Eye Care want you to enjoy this incredible astrological event in the safest way possible by choosing viewing methods that will protect your eyes and preserve your vision. If you have any questions about how to safely view the eclipse or would like to schedule an eye exam after the event, please call us and request an appointment. Our friendly team of eye professionals is here to help manage your eye and vision health. Have a happy and safe solar eclipse viewing!