On October 14, an annual solar eclipse will be visible from the coast of Oregon to parts of Canada and the Texas Gulf Coast. An eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the sun and earth while it is at its farthest point from earth. The moon will appear smaller than the sun, creating a “ring of fire” effect as the sun peeks from behind the moon.
However, no one should view a solar eclipse without proper protection. Solar retinopathy, which occurs when the retina is damaged by looking at the sun, often comes with no pain to indicate that damage is being done. Avoid eye strain and damage by following some safety tips.
- Eye protection should be used when viewing an eclipse. Whether this includes sunglasses or binoculars with the proper solar filter on the lens or designated, certified eclipse glasses, you should never stare directly at the sun!
- If you normally wear glasses, wear your eye protection over them.
- Do not apply or remove eye protection while viewing the eclipse. Put them on, view the eclipse, look away and then remove them.
- Check with your OD for more tips for viewing an eclipse. If you notice a difference in your vision after viewing the eclipse, talk to your doctor immediately.
The next total solar eclipse will occur April 8, 2024.
To view the full article from the American Optometric Association, click here.
Featured photo credit: Matt Anderson Photography, Getty Images