Oregon is prime viewing territory for the first total solar eclipse to cross the nation from the Pacific to Atlantic since World War I. Watching the total solar eclipse on August 21, 2017, can be a once-in-a- lifetime experience, but Oregon’s eye doctors warn that watching without proper protection for the eyes can cause a lifetime of vision damage.
According to optometrists and ophthalmologists, looking directly at the sun at any time can cause serious, permanent eye injury. Unprotected viewing of the sun, even for a few seconds, can cause permanent retinal damage and vision loss. Oregon’s eye doctors want people to enjoy the eclipse and protect their vision by following these guidelines:
• Use certified solar eclipse glasses or viewers when looking at the sun except during the total eclipse. Certified glasses and viewers are identified by the international standard mark ISO 12312-2, and are available at retail stores throughout the state or at http://www.oregonoptometry.org/2017-solar-eclipse/
• Supervise children to be sure they are using certified glasses or viewers, or pinhole projection devices.
• Do not look at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed sun through a camera, sunglasses, binoculars or other optical devices.
The only safe time to look at the sun is during the brief total eclipse that will last about two minutes when the moon completely blocks the sun from view. For the nearly two hours before and after the total eclipse, when the sun is uneclipsed or partially eclipsed, it should be viewed only through certified solar glasses or viewers.