On August 21st, a total solar eclipse will touch the U.S. mainland for the first time since 1979, following a path that crosses the country from Salem, Oregon to Charleston, South Carolina. Tens of millions of people who live within a 70-mile radius of its cross-country track will witness the eclipse in totality (the sun completely blocked by the moon) while millions of others outside of it will enjoy a partial eclipse. The American Optometric Association (AOA), America’s family eye doctors, is urging Americans to view the eclipse with proper eye protection to avoid any temporary or permanent eye damage from the sun.

To ensure spectators won’t miss the remarkable sight, the AOA is sharing a few tips for safe viewing:

  • Get centered and enjoy the view.  Here in Texas, we will only see a partial eclipse. With this in mind, your eyes should always be protected by verified viewing tools. Never look directly at the sun without eye protection, even briefly.  The only safe way to look directly at the sun or at a partially eclipsed sun is through special purpose solar filters or other ISO-certified filters.  The AOA encourages ordering solar eclipse glasses in advance and recommends the American Astronomical Society’s (AAS) website (eclipse.aas.org) for a list of manufacturers.  The AAS website also contains a wealth of information regarding the eclipse.
  • Be aware of harmful solar exposure.  If you stare at the sun without protection, you may experience retinal damage called solar retinopathy.  This damage can occur without any sensation of pain, since the retina does not have pain receptors.  The injury can be temporary or permanent.  Please visit our office immediately if an accident occurs.
  • Visit our office.  If you have any questions or concerns regarding the eclipse, please give our office a call.  Once again, we can’t stress enough, please DO NOT look at the sun directly with the naked eye at any point during the eclipse.  If for some reason you have vision problems after the eclipse, please give our office a call.

We hope this will be a spectacular event for you!