We are in full Back to School season here at Bright Eyes Vision Clinic! We love seeing our patients each year as they get geared up for another awesome year of school!
There has been a lot of buzz about THE ECLIPSE and wanted to provide some eye doctor and mom advice
My job is to educate the public and ensure that my patients have the best visual abilities that will last a life time.
- Never look at the sun. The retina is a delicate layer of nervous tissue that can be easily damaged by the sun. The UV impact is also cumulative.
- The retina has no pain receptors so you do not feel pain if the retina is damaged.
- The damage is permanent and there is NO TREATMENT. Healing can take 1-12 months to occur, but full restoration of sight may never occur.
Viewing the eclipse
- We are not in the path of totality so there will never be a time that is safe to view the sun.
- The approved ISO 12312-2 glasses (fitting properly, no scratches and newer than three years old) from a reputable vendor will reduce your chances of eye damage-but there is no guarantee.
- There have been reports of counterfeit ISO glasses and there was an Amazon recall on some glasses this week.
- The appropriate ISO 12312-2 rated lenses are very dark and everything, except the sun, should look dark. * see #7
- Do not take photos of the sun with a camera or eye piece lens. The optics of a camera contain a condensing lens that can magnify the sun’s rays. A selfie view may minimize possible damage.
- Welding glasses, really dark sunglasses or multiple layers of tint are not effective in protecting you from damage.
- Consider your kids. I don’t know about your kids, but mine still eat dirt, pick their nose and don’t listen to me 100% of the time. If I say “don’t look” they will immediately look. I love my kids, but simply do not trust them. Wearing the super black dark glasses and waiting patiently until the right time, without peeking, seems very unlikely. Also consider what your kids are doing that day-will day care or school be able to monitor the proper use of the special glasses?
- There is another eclipse in 2024 so we will have another opportunity to experience.
- If you do experience blurred vision or have concerns about your vision after the eclipse, seek care with an eye doctor. The damage usually is visible during typical examination techniques or with the help of an instrument called an OCT. Here is an example of how we can detect and monitor this condition in a patient with Solar Eclipse Maculopathy.
Suggestions to still have fun and learn about this super cool phenomenon:
- Watch it on TV! http://www.pbs.org/about/blogs/news/pbs-series-nova-shares-the-great-american-solar-eclipse-with-audiences-across-the-us-in-special-day-of-event-presentation/
- Use this as an educational moment, discuss astronomy and spend some quality time together. Many of us haven’t brushed up on this stuff for a while so a great opportunity for the whole family. There are many links and resources on line. Here is one of my favorites! http://faculty.washington.edu/chudler/chvision.html
- Make sure your kids and loved ones know that looking at the sun is dangerous and a reminder about how to protect our precious gift of sight everyday by wearing sunglasses, not smoking, protecting from danger and eating a healthy diet.
- Make a projected pinhole box (again remember to emphasize to not look at the sun-since there has been some confusion about).