Solar Eclipse Dangers

Solar Eclipse Poses Danger To Your Eyes

If you want to watch the solar eclipse on Monday, be sure to protect your eyes!

That might sound obvious, but there are people who think because the sun is partially blocked, it won't do as much damage.

While it may seem like looking at it for longer periods of time is more comfortable because you're not blinking or squinting as much, without eye protection, you can do serious, even permanent damage.

Long and short term exposure can cause things like light sensitivity, eye pain, or vision loss in one or both eyes.

That's even by looking at the sliver of the sun peeking out from behind the moon.

"What it is, is a photo-chemical reaction where the sunlight comes in, the UV radiation comes in and causes a change in the retina and can cause damage.  Most of the damage, thankfully, is reversible, but some after prolonged exposure and the high intensity of light can be permanent," said David Montesanti, MD, partner at ECVA Eyecare in Western New York.

It's safe to look at the eclipse in places where there's totality -- meaning the sun is completely covered.  That will not be the case in Western New York.

Proper eclipse glasses are marked with ISO -- which stands for International Organization for Standardization and have the numbers 12312-2 on them.  Older solar viewing goggles might not meet new standards.

Make sure your pair doesn't have any holes or scratches.

Regular sunglasses -- no matter how dark they are -- still don't give you the protection you need.

© 2017 WGRZ-TV


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