Dos and Don’ts of the Solar Eclipse By Natalie Polk on August 15, 2017

On August 21st, we have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to witness a solar eclipse. An event like this will not occur again over the United States for over 700 years, so be sure to properly prepare yourself to watch it, making sure to protect your eyesight!

Yes, staring at the sun will burn your eyes!

You’ve more than likely been told that staring at the sun will damage your eyes, but what kind of damage?

The light and energy emitted from the sun is so strong that staring at even a tiny sliver of it, say, during a solar eclipse, can damage and destroy the light receptor cells located in the retina. Depending on the length of exposure time and the number of repetitions of exposure, the sun’s radiation can cause thermal damage to your eyes, better known as sunburn!

Normally, our eyes have what’s called an aversion reflex that causes you to quickly look away when you look into the sun on a normal basis. However, the reflex can be avoided when your willpower to look at the sun during an event like the solar eclipse overrides your body’s natural reaction.

The seriously harmful effects of the sun’s rays result in blindness, thermal damage to the retina, and even macular deterioration. These consequences are irreversible.

We’re not messing around! Proper protection is necessary.

Staring at the solar eclipse with normal sunglasses is not sufficient. Special polarized glasses like the ones pictured below are absolutely necessary for viewing the solar eclipse.

If you’re planning on watching any kind of solar eclipse, whether you’re in an area where the eclipse is total or partial, you must use proper eye protection. Otherwise, you’ll risk long-term or even permanent blindness.

To better help prepare you, here are some helpful tips and reminders to ensure you’re ready for the big day:

DON’T put yourself at risk by forgetting or omitting proper eye protection.
DO take proper care to guarantee the safety of your eyes and vision.

DON’T view the solar eclipse with your normal sunglasses.
DO wear specialized eclipse glasses that will protect your eyes from the sun’s damaging radiation.

DON’T be uneducated!
DO learn about your eye health and what’s going on in the sky.

DO go outside and watch the solar eclipse!
DON’T miss it!


Dr. Steven Chander

Primary Eye Care Associates

Primary Eye Care Associates is a family-friendly vision care practice in Chicago. Led by our eye doctor, Dr. Steven Chander, our practice provides a variety of services, features a state-of-the-art optical laboratory, and includes an optical boutique with designer frames. Dr. Chander is certified by:

  • The National Board of Examiners in Optometry
  • The American Optometric Association

To schedule an appointment with our team, please fill out our online form or call (773) 735-6090.

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