Healthy Living

Be Wise About Your Eyes: 4 Tips for Eclipse Vision Safety

Mar. 7, 2024

The April 8 total solar eclipse is quickly approaching and it’s time to plan for a safe celestial event.

UR Medicine ophthalmologist Rajeev Ramchandran, MD, of Flaum Eye Institute, recommends these steps to protect your vision:

1. Wear protective eclipse glasses.

They are the safest way for you and your family to watch this once-in-a-lifetime event. They are inexpensive and readily available. Look for ISO 12312-2 certification, which is an international standard for the black filters that will prevent damage to your retinas.

“Most of us remember our mother saying: 'Never look directly at the sun because it’ll hurt your eyes,'” Ramchandran says. “Your mother was right. It can damage your vision.”

While wearing eclipse glasses, you shouldn’t be able to see anything until you turn your gaze toward the sun. Without them, too much light could harm your retinas and lead to solar retinopathy, also called eclipse retinopathy, causing partial or complete blindness.

2. Do not look toward the sun unless you are wearing the glasses. Make sure they cover your eyes completely.

Parents should make sure children wear the glasses correctly. If the glasses are too large for your little ones, consider securing the glasses using a rubber band or elastic to fashion a strap. Or, if a child wears prescription eyeglasses, use tape to affix the eclipse glasses to the frame.

3. Always use a solar filter on cameras, telescopes, or binoculars in addition to your eclipse glasses.

Those devices concentrate light and cause sunlight to burn through solar glasses without proper solar filters.

4. Be a role model.

When you wear eclipse glasses properly, others will do it, too.