Protect your eyes while viewing the eclipse

Are you caught up in eclipse mania? Can’t wait for the highly anticipated upcoming total solar eclipse? August 21, 2017 will be the first coast-to-coast total solar eclipse in nearly 100 years and preparations are underway to observe the phenomenon.

But eye and vision experts have some warnings before you watch. For most people, vision is the sense that they would least like to lose, so making sure you don’t damage your vision is a top priority for most people. That’s why a small investment of a couple of dollars in solar eclipse glasses is well worth the money and effort. The glasses have special solar filters that protect the eye from the sun’s damaging rays, even the ones you can’t see.

Experts explain it this way -- when you look at the sun your eye’s pupil gets smaller in order to protect the retina from too much light, but during an eclipse, that doesn’t happen. And regular sunglasses aren’t enough protection from damage during the eclipse. Even just a few seconds of gazing at the eclipse without proper protection could cause damage to your eyes.

While the damage done to your eyes likely won’t hurt when it’s happening, the problems will crop up later with decreased vision and then, seeing your doctor is advised.