BE SAFE: Watching the eclipse could damage your eyes

BE SAFE: Watching the eclipse could damage your eyes

ANNA, IL (KFVS) - Your parents probably told you to not stare at the sun, but during the total solar eclipse, you'll definitely want to.

"Once it's totally dark, then you should take your glasses off and you should look at the corona because then and only then will you see something that people cannot see unless there is totality, and that is the atmosphere of the sun," said Dr. Peggy Hill, professor of physics at Southeast Missouri State University.

The sun can be very dangerous if you are just looking at it on any normal day, but there are glasses with special lenses which will allow you to actually watch the eclipse without damaging your eyes.

Dr. Amber Moreland with Moreland Eyecare said even though these glasses are a little funny looking, they're no joke.

"The only time it would be appropriate to remove them is the period of totality," Moreland said.

Dr. Moreland said our eyes typically warn us about the danger of looking at the sun, it hurts, but during an eclipse, you might not even realize your eyes are being damaged.

"If you're viewing partial phases of the eclipse without these glasses, because the moon is covering the brightness of the sun during the partial phases, there may be no pain associated with that," Moreland said. "However, the rays are still there. The damage could still be done."

And you might not feel the consequences until hours later.

"You feel like you're viewing it safely without glasses because you're not feeling any pain, but the damages could still be being done," Moreland said. "And it could actually do more damage several hours after the viewing. So, it's very important to wear the glasses."

Dr. Moreland adds that depending on how much harm is done, it could be permanent.

"We all want to enjoy things in life," Moreland said. "So, we want to be able to enjoy this special event without any negative repercussions later. But, if the proper precautions aren't taken, there can be either temporary or permanent vision loss, depending on the level of damage."

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