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Eyes on the sky: How to keep your eyes protected during the eclipse

25 News reporter Heather Healy spoke with two local medical professionals about how to keep your eyes safe while watching the eclipse.
Posted at 6:33 PM, Mar 29, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-29 19:33:56-04

KILLEEN, Texas — The solar eclipse is quickly approaching, and before the attention points to the skies, think safety first when it comes to your eyes.

Heather Healy spoke with two local medical professionals about how to keep your eyes protected from potential damage.

BROADCAST TRANSCRIPT:

All eyes will be on the sky when the solar eclipse finally arrives April 8.

“You don’t want to look directly at it without wearing any kind of eye protection,” said Dr. David Hanscom, Emergency Department Medical Director for Advent Health.

Protecting your eyes is key during the celestial event. In fact, permanent damage can happen, like solar retinopathy.

“You get damage to the cells in the back of the retina," Dr. Hanscom said.

"Your vision will be somewhat compromised and then you’re likely to have some pain shortly after."

“It’s important for everyone to realize that from a medical perspective, there is no completely 100 percent safe way of ever observing the sun,” said Dr. Randy Hartman, Associate Medical Director for Baylor Scott & White.

Dr. Hartman says that even though there’s no fool-proof way of doing this, there are some other options.

“A lot of people from the last partial eclipse were using those spaghetti colanders — the spaghetti colanders with a lot of holes in the bottom, you can shine the light on those though a light sheet for a really nice effect," Dr. Hartman said.

"It’s important to realize if you’re using a camera filter, eyeglasses or even a welding helmet, they have to be in excellent condition — there cannot be any dings or scratches or bends."

If there is any flaw in your eclipse eye wear...

“Sunlight can penetrate through one of those defects,” Dr. Hartman said.

Make sure it’s replaced beforehand, so your eyes will be set on the eclipse prize.

“We are ready and excited, it’s going to be a great event,” Dr. Hanscom said.