A sneak peek of the eclipse without proper protection can be damaging, doctors warn

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Monday’s total eclipse is a cosmic show that is expected to enchant stargazers coast-to-coast. But whatever you do, doctors say don’t look directly at the eclipse without protective glasses.

“You might not even recognize that your eyes are getting damaged and burned, ” Dr. Jenny Alsop with Midlothian Optometric Center explained.

Dr. Alsop says even a sneak peek could permanently damage your retinas.

“It can be any degree of cloudy vision, you can go partially blind from it,” Dr. Alsop said.

Regular sunglasses won’t do the trick; you need those solar glasses.

“If you look on the inside it should have the ISO logo and you should also see the numbers which are 12312-2,” Dr. Alsop added. “That means it’s the approved filter.”

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You may be tempted use your cell phone to capture an image or video of the eclipse, or maybe even binoculars, but doctors say don’t do it. The lens on these devices is already magnified, and even with those protective glasses, optometrists say could do some serious damage to your eyes.

So what can you do if you don’t have your solar glasses yet? You can make your own pinhole projector.

“You can do this kind of with a shoe box or poster board to have a larger area,” Dr. Alsop explained, holding a piece of paper.

“I cut a hole with some scissors, just a square, and then taped aluminum foil,’ she said.


Then simply adding a tiny pinhole through the foil you can indirectly and safely catch the eclipse. Click here to learn more.

You can watch the eclipse online as NASA will be live streaming the eclipse.

If you do experience any spots in your vision after the eclipse, you are advised to visit your eye doctor immediately.

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