On August 21, 2017, a total solar eclipse will cross the United States from coast to coast for the first time since 1918 – that’s almost 100 years! A total solar eclipse occurs when the sun is completely covered by the moon, turning day into night for a brief period of time. This experience is much rarer than a partial solar eclipse, which is when the moon appears to take a section out of the sun, but never fully blocks it out.
As we all know, it’s dangerous to stare directly at the sun; this is because the sun is so bright that, no matter how long you stare, it produces enough light to cause permanent damage to your retina. While viewing the eclipse, it is crucial to use the necessary precautions, such as solar glasses, to protect against damage to your eyes. Without the appropriate eye protection, you can develop “eclipse blindness,” which is a serious injury caused by solar radiation that can lead to permanent vision loss, according to the American Optometric Association.
Here are some valuable tips for safe viewing of the full solar eclipse:
- DO carefully inspect your solar glasses – if damaged in any way, discard immediately
- DON’T remove filter while looking at the sun – wait until you have turned away
- DO wear glasses, keep them on and put your solar glasses over them
- DON’T view the sun through an unfiltered telescope, camera, or other devices, with or without your solar glasses
- DO supervise children that are using solar glasses
The path of totality is the track that the eclipse will be following, which extends about 70 miles wide from Oregon to South Carolina. For some of us in northeast Georgia, we are lucky enough to be in the path of totality and will have full viewing capabilities of the eclipse! Most residents of Georgia will still be able to enjoy a partial solar eclipse. Remove your solar glasses only when the eclipse is completely over.
A solar eclipse is one of nature’s most awe-inspiring phenomenon. By practicing eye safety using solar glasses, you can safely enjoy memories that will last a lifetime. Stop by any of our Georgia Eye Associates offices the week of August 14th to pick up solar glasses (limit one pair per patient, while supplies last)!