Some Eclipse Viewing Glasses Can Cause Eye Injuries
August 16, 2017
According to a recent report from CCN Money, consumers who purchased certain types of eclipse-viewing protective glasses may be at an increased risk for serious eye injuries. Since the solar eclipse is set to occur on August 21st, Amazon has launched a widespread preventive recall of many eclipse-viewing glasses, hopeful that consumers can be made aware of defective products before the eclipse occurs. Some sellers may have made false allegations and claimed that their products offer adequate eye protection to sell more and make a bigger financial gain. Although many people are excited to view this rare event, it is important to take safety precautions to decrease the chance of getting hurt.
The report details how even glasses that come stamped with the International Organization for Standardization seal (ISO) logo may be defective and not offer adequate eye protection. Although the logo typically indicates when a pair of glasses is in compliance with American Astronomical Society (AAS) safety regulations, many sellers may have put consumers at direct risk in order to make a fast buck. To draw further attention to this, the AAS has updated its eye safety guidelines, warning consumers against defective eyewear and publishing a list of reputable dealers, which includes 7-Eleven, Walmart, Lowe’s and Best Buy.
A person can sustain serious – and sometimes permanent – eye injuries from looking directly into light without protection. After the 1999 solar eclipse, for example, doctors reported that over half of patients who stared directly at the sun for several minutes sustained permanent eye damages. Common symptoms of eye strain injuries can include a person seeing yellow or dark spots, blurred or double vision, headache, watery or dry eyes, increased sensitivity to light, feeling that you cannot keep your eyes open and blurred vision. More serious symptoms can include not being able to see out of the center of your eye.
People who received certain pupil-dilation drugs are at an increased risk for quickly sustaining injuries when looking at light. When a person’s pupils are dilated, it allows the sun to enter the eyes faster. In these cases, people should wear glasses that protect against UV rays. Even if a person is looking at the eclipse through a telescope or camera lens, their eyes are not protected from injury. If you have any questions about how to protect your eyes or are worried you are at a higher risk for this type of injury, please consult directly with your doctor or ophthalmologist.
If you have purchased protective eyewear to view the upcoming solar eclipse and are unsure about whether or not they are safe to use, CNN Money recommends testing them out by determining whether or not you can see anything other than the sun. If you can see more than the sun, it means that the glasses do not offer comprehensive enough eye protection and will leave you at risk for straining or injuring your eyes if you use them during the eclipse. If you are going to test your eyewear out this way, please use caution. You can also contact a representative at our firm and discuss your questions with them.
To view the AAS’ list of reputable eyewear protection retailers, please click here: https://eclipse.aas.org/resources/solar-filters. You can also check out their list of safety guidelines at this link: https://eclipse.aas.org/eye-safety.
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