Total Eclipse of the Heart
On August 21st
, many parts of the country will experience a total solar eclipse, when the moon fully blocks out the sun, darkening the sky during the day. This will be the 1st total eclipse to cross the United States in over 40 years, so it is an event that you won’t want to miss! However, it is important to take the necessary precautions before watching the show.
First and most importantly, never look directly at the sun even while wearing sunglasses. In combination with the natural lens inside your eye, looking directly at the sun is similar to using a magnifying glass on an ant on a sunny day. It can cause damage and even blindness to the central part of your vision. This is even more dangerous during a solar eclipse. Likewise, never use a telescope or binoculars to look directly at the sun. Even with the safety lenses, it is still important to take breaks from watching the eclipse.
I know many of you have purchased eclipse glasses from various sources. Make sure that your glasses meet the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) safety standards before viewing the eclipse. Here are some clues that your glasses are fake:
-The frame must say meet the ISO 12312-2 international standard. This can be found on the side of the frames.
-The lenses should be so dark that the majority of visible light is blocked out. You should only see the brightest light through the lenses. You can test this by using the bright LED flashlight on your phone, which should appear very dim through a safe pair of glasses.
While it is technically safe to look at the eclipse once the sun is completely blocked out (no sun rays are visible), here in Indiana we will only experience a partial eclipse. Therefore, at no time will it be safe to view the eclipse without the proper eyewear. Here in the indianapolis area, the eclipse will begin at 12:57pm, reach its maximum at 2:25pm, and end at 3:48pm.
Don’t forget about your toddlers. Babies love to stare at lights, and the sun is no exception. During the time of the eclipse, make sure that your little one’s eyes are protected and covered, or that they remain indoors during the event!
Last but not least, make sure that you are protecting your eyes from the sun year round. UV rays can damage your eyes and cause cataracts and macular degeneration. Make sure you wear sun protection all year when outdoors!
Thanks to all the patients that passed by to pick up their eclipse glasses. We are so sorry for running out so quickly. We will be sure that we are prepared for the next eclipse!
Dr. Nytarsha Thomas