What is a solar eclipse, and how does it affect my eyes?
A Solar eclipse occurs when the moon blocks the sun. On Monday August 21st, 2017, North America will experience a solar eclipse that will last about 2.5 hours. Although a small part of USA will experience a total eclipse in which the moon completely blocks the sun, for most places, including the Los Angeles area, it will be partial.
Directly looking at the solar eclipse is as harmful as sun gazing on a regular day. This causes damage in the retina, the light sensitive membrane in the back of the eye, and can result in vision loss – the severity of which depends on the duration of the gaze. In mild cases, the vision loss may be reversible over the course of several months, but in severe cases, it is permanent. It affects the central vision, and affected individuals may not be able to read or see faces; however, it does not affect the peripheral vision.
Here are some very important tips to prevent vision loss while enjoying watching the solar eclipse:
Never look at the sun or solar eclipse without eye protection: use solar eclipse glasses (eclipse viewers) that have been approved by the American Astronomical Society. In those areas of the country where total eclipse occurs, it is safe to remove the eclipse glasses at the time of total eclipse, which may last a maximum of about 2.5 minutes.
Sunglasses, no matter how dark, are not protective.
Do not use eclipse glasses that are damaged or have a scratch on them.
If using a binocular, camera or telescope, wearing eclipse glasses do not protect your eyes; the front lens of these devices that face the sun should be shielded with specially designed filters.