After my original post on solar eclipse, many patients have been looking for these eclipse viewing glasses with no success. Here is a great DIY alternative recommended by NASA.
Are you all ready for the solar eclipse on Monday August 21st? It looks like those of us in lower mainland will be able to see an 86% eclipse at 10:19am pacific daylight time. Though not exactly a total eclipse, it is still a once in a lifetime experience nonetheless. When planning on viewing the solar eclipse, it is extremely important to be prepared with proper eye protection. We all know that we are not supposed to look directly at the sun, and viewing the eclipse is no different.
High intensity or sustained light exposure associated with sun-gazing and eclipse viewing can lead to solar retinopathy. It is basically a sunburn of the retina that can potentially lead to permanent vision loss. Check out this Oregon man’s story!
Sunglasses, even prescription ones blocking up to 99% of UVA and UVB, are not safe for viewing an eclipse. Typical sunglasses blocks out 85% of the light, decreasing the intensity of visible light and making it more comfortable to look at a light source. This is however nowhere close enough to protect our eyes from high energy sunlight during eclipse viewing.
American Astronomical Society recommends solar eclipse viewing glasses compliant with the ISO 12312-2 international safety standard. These glasses transmit only 0.00032 percent of the sunlight, blocking out significantly more light than regular sunglasses.
It is only safe to look at the sun during totality. Unfortunately lower mainland is not in the path of totality, meaning that solar eclipse viewing glasses should be worn the entire time. Before using your eclipse viewing glasses, make sure that they are not bent, scratched, damaged or more than three years old.