Use caution during the Solar Eclipse
By Contributed by Lebow Eye Associates, P.C.
Aug 16, 2017, 15:20
On August 21 the Greater Richmond area will experience a Partial Solar Eclipse. This is when the Moon blocks part of the Sun. Our area is expected to have the Moon block about 86% of the Sun.
It is very important to understand that looking at the Sun, especially when it is partially blocked by the Moon, is very dangerous to your eye sight. The harmful rays of the Sun can cause irreversible blindness. To look at the eclipse safely, it is mandatory that you wear specially approved Solar Eclipse viewing glasses.
When you put these glasses on they are so dark you will not be able to see anything through them except for the Sun, not even your hand in front of your face. Regular sunglasses, no matter how dark they are, do not provide enough protection when viewing the Sun during the eclipse to prevent eye damage. NASA recommends that you only wear Solar Eclipse glasses that meet the international standard (ISO 12312-2).
In the Richmond area it is reported that Solar Eclipse glasses are being sold at a number of retail stores. There are also instructions online on how to build your own Solar Eclipse Projector to project the image of the eclipse onto a safe viewing surface. Viewing the eclipse without the proper protection causes highly focused burns to the center of the retina. This is much like using a magnifying glass to start a fire. It will cause central scaring and loss of vision. There is no treatment and must be prevented through safe practices.
Lebow Eye Associates, P.C. wants everyone to use caution during the Solar Eclipse. And please make certain that children and those unaware of the risks are protected so that everyone can enjoy this natural phenomenon.