Total solar eclipses, although impressive, can damage your eyes if viewed without proper protection| Top Vip News


On April 8, 2024, and for the second time in the last decade, US residents will have the opportunity to see a total solar eclipse. But to do it safely, you’ll need use proper protectionor you risk eye damage.

Earth is the only planet in our solar system where solar eclipses can occur. During these celestial events, the Moon passes between our planet and the Sun, blocking the Sun and casting a shadow on the Earth. Total eclipses rarely occur multiple times in the same region of a country during a lifetime.

The path of totality for This spring’s eclipse.where the total eclipse can be seen, it will extend along a 100-mile route that crosses Mexico, Texas, New England and eastern Canada.

Those in the path of totality will have the opportunity to see a total solar eclipse this April.

As enthusiasm for the celestial spectacle grows across the country, hotels in the path of totality have been booked by eclipse enthusiasts. Museums and schools have planned viewing eventsand researchers have developed technology to visually impaired people and people with hearing loss so that more people have the opportunity to experience the eclipse.

Viewing an eclipse is a rare and special opportunity, but as an ophthalmologist, I know that looking directly at the Sun, even for a few moments, can seriously damage your eyes. With some simple precautions, eclipse viewers can protect themselves from serious, irreparable eye damage and vision loss.

Safe Eclipse Viewing

This year’s eclipse will take place over a period of 75 minutes, from the moment the Moon begins to partially block the Sun until it moves completely away from it again.

During the period of partial eclipse, when the Moon partially blocks the Sun, you should never look directly at the Sun or through binoculars. cameras either cell phones. Sunglasses, photographic filters, exposed color film, and soldering lenses will attenuate sunlight, but these items do not prevent Eye damage from very intense light rays from the sun..

Only solar eclipse glasses with filters designed specifically for observing the partial eclipse are safe to use. They are easily available from a variety of sourcesand you can use them alone or over your glasses or contact lenses.

Please note that these safety filters will allow you to see only the eclipse, as they obscure everything around you except the Sun itself. Before purchasing a pair, make sure your eclipse glasses are approved by the International standard ISO 12312-2.

Only during your totality periodthe moment the Sun is completely behind the Moon, is it safe to remove filter glasses, and only with caution?

This year, totality will last an unusually long time. four and a half minutes. If you leave your eclipse glasses on, you won’t be able to see the Sun’s bright ring or corona behind the Moon. But then, as the Moon moves forward, the sky will brighten and you’ll have to put your eclipse glasses back on.

eyes and light

While the pupils of our eyes naturally constrict to limit bright light and our eyes have pigments to absorb light, direct sunlight overrides these functions. Even looking at the Sun for a few brief moments can cause permanent vision loss.

The Sun emits intense ultraviolet and infrared lightwhich, although not visible to the human eye, can burn sensitive eye tissues, such as the cornea and retina.

A diagram of an eye seen from the side.
The cornea is the transparent front surface of the eye, which lets in light. The retina is the inner lining of the back of the eye, which sends signals to the brain, allowing you to see.
American Association of Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus

Corneal damage from sunlight, called solar keratosis, can blur vision and be quite painful. While the cornea may heal on its own, it may take several days to improve and cause loss of time at work or school.

Damage to the retina, called solar retinopathy, occurs inside the eye. While it is not painful, it can be more serious than corneal damage and drastically affect vision. Symptoms of solar retinopathy include a blind spot in central vision, visual distortions, and altered color vision.

In mild cases, these symptoms may disappear, but in more severe cases, and even with treatment, can become permanent.

To enjoy the eclipse and avoid eye damage, make sure you and your loved ones view the event with strict precautions.

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