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Protect Your Eyes During the April 8th Solar Eclipse!

Author: Reflect Optometry | | Categories: Eye Care , Eye Clinic , Eye Doctor

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A total solar eclipse is coming our way on  April 8th, 2024. This event will be visible across parts of North America, with totality (complete sun blockage by the moon) expected around 3:20 pm. While a truly awe-inspiring sight, viewing a solar eclipse requires proper precautions to safeguard your eyes.

The Dangers of Looking Directly at the Sun

Gazing at the sun, even during a partial eclipse, can cause  Solar Retinopathy, a condition where the retina (the light-sensitive part of your eye) is burned by solar radiation. This damage can lead to permanent blind spots or distorted vision. Don't be fooled by the dimmed sunlight – the sun's rays remain dangerous.

Protecting Your Eyes During the Eclipse

The only safe way to directly view the eclipse is with specially designed solar filters. These filters are used in certified eclipse glasses and viewers. Here's what you need to know for safe viewing:

  • Regular sunglasses are not safe! Their filtering isn't strong enough.

  • Beware of cheap, unauthorized eclipse glasses! They might not offer adequate protection. Ensure that the eclipse glasses are ISO and CE certified

  • A safe solar filter should only allow you to see the sun or a similarly bright light source. Test them – if you can see regular light through them, they're unsafe.

  • Inspect your eclipse glasses/viewer for scratches or dents before use. Any damage compromises their effectiveness.

  • Never use unfiltered cameras, telescopes, or binoculars! These devices intensify light, negating the filter's protection.

Symptoms of Eye Damage

The effects of unsafe eclipse viewing might not appear for 4-12 hours. If you experience any of these symptoms after viewing, see an eye doctor immediately:

  • Blurred vision

  • Blind spots

  • Distorted vision (straight lines appear bent)

  • Colour changes

  • Increased light sensitivity

  • Eye pain or irritation

Reflect Optometry is Here to Help

At Reflect Optometry, your eye health is our priority. We encourage everyone to enjoy this celestial event safely. If you have any questions about eclipse viewing contact us today!