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Protecting Your Vision During Upcoming Solar Eclipse

Aug 17, 2017

Ordinary sunglasses and camera or telescope lenses don’t protect your eyes. Use specially designed glasses, viewers and lens filters to block the sun’s harmful rays instead.
Credit American Academy of Ophthalmology/American Astronomical Society

The solar eclipse, which will be up to 90 percent visible in our area, is quickly approaching.  It's happening early in the afternoon on August 21st, and even though it will begin to look like nighttime in the middle of the day, there have been repeated warnings not to look at the sun during this process!

89.1 WEMU’s Lisa Barry spoke to Michigan Medicine ophthalmologist Dr. Rajesh Rao, who shared safety tips about viewing the eclipse.


Dr. Rao says the only safe way to look at the eclipse is if you have special eclipse-watching glasses with the appropriate solar filter.

“It’s extremely important to not look directly at the sun or the eclipse without those specialized solar filters,” says Rao.

“It’s not safe to use any kind of glasses, including sunglasses, your iPhone, binoculars, or telescope.  These things are not safe and can actually cause some permanent damage to your eyes,” says Rao.

He suggests if children want to experience this unusual display of the sun, put their special solar filter glasses on before taking them outside to make sure their eyes are safely covered.

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— Lisa Barry is the host of All Things Considered on WEMU. You can contact Lisa at 734.487.3363, on Twitter @LisaWEMU, or email her at lbarryma@emich.edu