Sunglasses Aren’t Enough! Here’s How to Protect Your Eyes from the Solar Eclipse

posted: 08/14/17
by: Amanda Mushro
Family looking at Solar Eclipse using solar glasses.


On August 21, the moon will cover the sun for the first time in almost a century, and a lot of people in the viewing path of this solar eclipse are getting excited. From solar eclipse viewing parties to hotels and campsites that offer awesome views of the eclipse being completely sold out, you'll want to plan where you'll be watching this amazing phenomenon. But before you pick out your solar eclipse viewing location, you'll need to think about what you'll be wearing--not your clothes but protective eyewear.

While you may be tempted to stare into the sky to watch this spectacular event, doctors are warning you to protect your eyes with the right type of glasses. Staring at the sun during the eclipse could leave you with permeant eye damage called as solar retinopathy. You could be left with blind spots, distorted vision or loss of contrast in your central vision-- what you use to read, drive and look at your electronic devices.

For this solar eclipse, you'll need more than your favorite sunglasses to keep your peepers safe. Even if they have super dark lenses--they won't work because regular sunglasses don't filter out enough of the harmful UV rays while looking at the eclipse. Instead, grab a few pairs of Eclipse glasses that are being sold online and at major retailers.

Eclipse glasses, which are super inexpensive and look like the old 3D glasses, come equipped with two dark, filtered lenses that protect your eyes against UVA and UVB rays. However, not all Eclipse glasses are legit. Luckily, NASA is giving the run-down of what you need to look for when shopping for Eclipse glasses.

To make sure your Eclipse glasses are legit, NASA suggests you look for these items on your glasses:

  • They need certification information with a designated ISO 12312-2 international standard
  • The manufacturer's name and address should be printed somewhere on the product
  • They should not be used if they are older than three years, or have scratched or wrinkled lenses
  • They should not be made with homemade filters or look like ordinary sunglasses -- not even very dark ones -- because they are not safe for looking directly at the sun

So grab a pair of the glasses, you can find them for around two dollars, and enjoy this solar eclipse because the next one won't be around until 2024.