Health authorities warn of danger of eclipse viewing without protection

Columbus Regional Health is offering tips on how to protect your eyes and your health during Monday’s total solar eclipse.

Our area falls under the path of totality for Monday’s celestial event, with the moon completely blocking the sun for several minutes Monday afternoon. But even with the near total darkness, you have to protect your eyes.

Authorities say that you should never look directly at the sun without protection during the event. Regular sunglasses aren’t enough to protect your eyes when looking at the eclipse. Instead, you should use certified shaded glasses to view the eclipse. The glasses should be approved by the American Astronomical Society. they also say that if you normally wear glasses, you should keep them on under your solar viewing glasses.

According to NASA, you can look directly at the eclipsed sun without glasses only during the few minutes of totality. You’ll know it’s safe when you can no longer see any part of the Sun through eclipse glasses or a solar viewer.

Looking directly at the sun, even for a second, can cause damage to your eyes. You should see an eye doctor if you suffer any symptoms such as loss of central vision, have distorted vision or your color vision is affected.

And you need to make sure that children are also following the safety tips during the eclipse.

If you do not have solar glasses already, they are available for free from the Columbus Area Visitors Center.

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