Eclipse glasses are all the rage, with plenty of retailers giving out free pairs of solar eclipse glasses in preparation for the upcoming total solar eclipse on Monday, August 21. While many people looking forward to viewing the solar eclipse have read advice not to view the eclipse with their naked eye, scientific experts are now warning people that using total solar eclipse glasses or pinhole boxes might not be safe for their eyes either.
While proper eye protection has been called essential for those who want to look at the eclipse on Monday, experts are also claiming that the only foolproof way to protect your eyes from any damage from the solar eclipse is not to look at the sun at all – whether it is during an eclipse or not during an eclipse.
“There are serious risks associated with viewing a solar eclipse directly, even when using solar filter glasses.”
Those are the words of Michael Schecter, according to USA Today, as it quoted the Ohio optometrist about the dangers of even using eclipse glasses specifically designed to allow viewers to stare at an eclipse. Schecter says that the problem with staring at an eclipse when the moon covers the sun so much so that viewers can do so with no pain is that it tricks people into believing that there is no harm in staring at the eclipse. Even glasses that promise to filter 100 percent of the sun’s harmful rays have to be used correctly by the wearers, which means people must resist the natural urge to peek over the tops of their solar glasses to get a real view of the solar eclipse.
According to LiveScience, the sun’s rays can be so damaging that a 12-year-old Florida girl who recently stared directly at the sun for 60 seconds ended up in the ER with a case of solar retinopathy. The extreme bright light of the sun can kill retina cells, and cause a person to have blind spots and blurred vision. Such a condition has no known treatment, and while it can improve, it is rare that it returns to how it was prior to the damage. The girl’s vision has not yet improved.
[Featured Image by Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images]