It’s imperative that those witnessing a solar eclipse do so safely with International Organization for Standardization (ISO) approved eclipse safety glasses that can help ensure irreparable eye damage doesn’t occur.
Rajiv Shah, MD, assistant professor of ophthalmology at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, offers the five tips below on how to protect vision during a solar eclipse:
- Don’t use sunglasses for protection. Never look directly at the sun or eclipse. Don’t use ordinary sunglasses, even very dark ones, or homemade filters to view the solar eclipse.
- Wear proper glasses. Wear solar eclipse glasses and use handheld solar viewers that meet the International Organization for Standardization’s (ISO) standard. It will be indicated on packaging that they are ISO 12312-2 compliant. Do not wear solar eyeglasses while driving.
- Wear your eyeglasses. If you normally wear eyeglasses, keep them on while wearing eclipse glasses – put eclipse glasses on over them.
- Don’t use optical devices. Don’t look at the sun through a camera, telescope, binoculars or any other optical device while using eclipse glasses or hand-held solar viewer – the concentrated solar rays will damage the filter and enter the eyes.
- Watch children using solar filters. Always supervise children using solar filters and inspect glasses before use; if scratched, punctured, torn or otherwise damaged, discard.