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April 2, 2024/Daily Health Stories

How to Prepare for Viewing the Solar Eclipse

As we get closer to the total solar eclipse on April 8, an ophthalmologist explains how to protect your eyes when viewing this rare event. Hint: Your regular sunglasses won't do!

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CLEVELAND - Do you have your eclipse glasses ready?

As we get closer to the total solar eclipse on April 8, here’s what to look for when picking out protective glasses to view this rare event.

“The most important thing is to make sure you have special eclipse glasses that are compliant with the ISO12312-2 international standard for filters to view the sun directly,” explained Nicole Bajic, MD, surgical ophthalmologist with Cleveland Clinic. “Unfortunately, there are a lot of counterfeits floating around, so you want to make sure that it's from an approved vendor.”

If you’re not sure where to get your eclipse glasses, Dr. Bajic said the American Astronomical Society has a list of verified vendors.

You can also check if any public places in your local community are giving out compliant eclipse glasses.

When you get your glasses, inspect them for damage and don’t use them if they’re scratched or torn.

It’s also important to keep in mind that special solar filters are needed to view the eclipse through a camera, binoculars or telescope – just wearing your eclipse glasses won’t do in this case.

Dr. Bajic said all this is needed to avoid damage to your eye and explains what might happen if you look at the sun directly without protection.

“Directly looking at the sun without something like eclipse glasses can lead to blurred vision,” Dr. Bajic said. “It can also cause a central scotoma, meaning a blind spot in the center part of your vision.” 

According to Dr. Bajic, people can experience temporary or permanent vision loss from looking at the sun without protection, so be sure to wear your eclipse glasses.

Editor’s Note: Two social videos are available to embed in web stories of Dr. Bajic going over eclipse safety tips. Please find links to the videos below.

Video 1: How To Protect Your Eyes When Viewing the Total Solar Eclipse
YouTube: https://youtu.be/yZrBl6kzWtI?si=U0ktjg3wg6zUpVIA
X: https://twitter.com/ClevelandClinic/status/1766087144303661392
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/reel/C4QYjumgt2r/
TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@clevelandclinic/video/7343738120648838446

Video 2: Why You Need To Protect Your Eyes When Viewing Total Solar Eclipse
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/reel/C4qxpzYAyQm/
TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@clevelandclinic/video/7346257167357381931

About Cleveland Clinic

Cleveland Clinic is a nonprofit multispecialty academic medical center that integrates clinical and hospital care with research and education. Located in Cleveland, Ohio, it was founded in 1921 by four renowned physicians with a vision of providing outstanding patient care based upon the principles of cooperation, compassion and innovation. Cleveland Clinic has pioneered many medical breakthroughs, including coronary artery bypass surgery and the first face transplant in the United States. Cleveland Clinic is consistently recognized in the U.S. and throughout the world for its expertise and care. Among Cleveland Clinic’s 81,000 employees worldwide are more than 5,743 salaried physicians and researchers, and 20,160 registered nurses and advanced practice providers, representing 140 medical specialties and subspecialties. Cleveland Clinic is a 6,690-bed health system that includes a 173-acre main campus near downtown Cleveland, 23 hospitals, 276 outpatient facilities, including locations in northeast Ohio; Florida; Las Vegas, Nevada; Toronto, Canada; Abu Dhabi, UAE; and London, England. In 2023, there were 13.7 million outpatient encounters, 323,000 hospital admissions and observations, and 301,000 surgeries and procedures throughout Cleveland Clinic’s health system. Patients came for treatment from every state and 132 countries. Visit us at clevelandclinic.org. Follow us at twitter.com/CleClinicNews. News and resources available at newsroom.clevelandclinic.org.

Editor’s Note: Cleveland Clinic News Service is available to provide broadcast-quality interviews and B-roll upon request.

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