Eclipse poses dangers to the eyes

Aug 19, 2017, 06:50
Eclipse poses dangers to the eyes

A total solar eclipse is slated to happen on Monday, as the Moon will cross in front of the Sun, blotting out the light from our favorite star for a couple of minutes along a 70-mile-wide swath of the US that runs from OR to SC.

Although it is said to be safe to view the eclipse with the naked eye only during the few second duration of its totality, perhaps Lou Tomososki's warning is an important reminder of the possible damage our eyes can sustain.

"If you take a lens that has that much power and point it directly at the sun, the energy becomes very high", and is enough to literally burn holes in the retina, or the light-sensitive cells at the back of the eye, Dr. Russell Van Gelder, a clinical spokesman for the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) and director of the University of Washington Medicine Eye Institute in Seattle, told Live Science in July. He noted that ever since he got it, the blind spot hasn't gotten any better or any worse.

Without that protection, many could suffer serious eye damage like Tomososki.

The good new is, the certified eclipse glasses are fairly cheap. "He got the left eye and I got the right eye", said Tomososki, now 71-years of age.

"I'm going to go out and enjoy it". "But, even though it's not painful, those harmful rays are still getting in your eyes and focused right onto the center of your retina, and that's where it does the damage".

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Even if just 1 percent of the sun is visible, Testin said, that is still more than 10,000 times brighter than a full moon.

For months leading up to next week's eclipse, doctors have issued warnings to avoid looking at the sun and to make sure eclipse glasses meet protective requirements.

"Some damage occurs pretty quickly, but a lot of damage can take hours to days to really come to bear", Lujan said. "Unfortunately there's not a treatment for it, so once that damage is done you have to wait and hopefully things improve and your body can heal some, but a lot of damage can be permanent".

People with the condition show a characteristic pattern of eye damage during eye exams.

Keep in mind that plenty of fake vendors are selling solar eclipse glasses claiming they'll protect your eyes.

Experts say the only time when it's safe to look at the sun is during a total solar eclipse when the disc of the moon has completely covered the sun. You also must use common sense. And 55 years later, "Nothing has changed", he told TODAY. He also said that he wished he had been informed of the dangers of staring into a solar eclipse back when it could've actually helped him.

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