Don’t burn your retinas: Solar Eclipse Safety 101


Before you watch the eclipse on August 21 you need to get eclipse glasses to protect your eyes. Your retinas will burn if you stare at the sun unprotected. Need proof? This lens has 1/3 the focusing power of your eye. This is what happens when the lens (your eye) focuses sunlight on paper (your retina). Demonstrated by Dr. Russell Van Gelder, a UW Medicine ophthalmologist. Dr. Van Gelder: Now if we look at how quickly the sun’s energy can burn a hole right through the paper, it’s pretty impressive. You wouldn’t feel your retina burning because your eye has no pain receptors. Make sure you get eclipse glasses that are ISO certified. Regular sunglasses won’t protect you. Wear glasses if you’re taking photos or looking through a telescope, too! And cover your device’s lens with a filter. UW Medicine

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