How to protect your eyes during a solar eclipse

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A sliver of Michigan will be in the path of totality during the April 8 total solar eclipse, a celestial spectacle that won’t occur again in the continental U.S. until 2044.
It’s sort of humbling in terms of putting things in perspective, our place in the world and the universe, and it’s natural to want to look at it,” Kumar said.
“People say, ‘I’m just going to go outside to take a quick peek.’
… People do that, and they look at it without eclipse glasses and then they get instant regret.
Don’t look at the sun (without eclipse glasses).
How bad is it, really, to look at the sun without eclipse glasses?
It’s called solar retinopathy.
“You’re basically focusing light of extreme intensity directly onto your retina.
This causes thermal damage to the cells of the retina that actually do the seeing,” Kumar said.
“They’re the cells that take light, turn it into electricity and send it to the brain.
So looking directly at the sun will literally burn your photoreceptors and cause damage to those cells or make them stop functioning.”
He likened the damage that can occur to what happens to the picture on a television when a group of pixels no longer work.
If you look at the sun, it will burn out those pixels.
Sometimes they regenerate, but for the most part they don’t,” Kumar said.
Dr. Julie Rosenthal, an ophthalmologist, clinical assistant professor at the University of Michigan and a retina specialist at the Kellogg Eye Center, said a healthy retina is essential for good vision.
More:2024 solar eclipse glasses: What NASA says is safe, where to buy”The retinal tissue in the back of the eye is where you have your most clear central vision that you use to read and recognize faces and see things up close,” Rosenthal said.
“And that is generally where the damage occurs when you look at the sun.
Welders can sometimes get damage from that very strong light, too.
Looking directly at the beam of light from a laser pointer also can cause it.”
What are symptoms of solar retinopathy?
“You won’t know that you are damaging your eyes until the damage has occurred,” Kumar said.
There’s a missing spot where it looks very bright in your center of vision or just off your center of vision.
You might not be able to see well enough to read, to watch TV, to do things like that.
Your peripheral vision will be fine, it’s just your central vision, the vision that occurs in what’s called the macula, that is usually affected.”
If you have a toddler or infant who cannot or will not wear eclipse glasses, Rosenthal suggests having them stay inside during the eclipse.
“You are only born with a certain number of retinal cells, and that’s it for your whole life.
If we did, then we’d be able to cure macular degeneration and other blinding diseases.
More:2024 solar eclipse: Early April 8 weather forecast predicts clear skies near Michigan”Any cell that is lost is a cell that’s gone.
Rosenthal said in some cases, minor damage can heal over time.
“The vision may get a little better over the first six months or so, but some of the time it doesn’t heal completely,” she said.
“Sometimes people are left with a blind spot in their vision or wavy lines in their vision where they can’t see.”
How long does it take to cause serious damage?
Injury can occur after just a few seconds of looking at sun without eye protection, Kumar said.
“That’s when damage can occur, because people want to see the actual eclipse in totality and don’t recognize that the sun is about to show itself again,” Rosenthal said.
“It doesn’t have to be a long exposure at all to cause damage.
What kind of eclipse glasses are safe?
Sunglasses — even those with very dark lenses — welding goggles and homemade filters are not sufficient to protect your eyes during a solar eclipse, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology.
The only safe way to view the eclipse is to use a special filter, goggles or glasses that meet the global safety standard and are ISO 12312-2 certified.
Be sure to check that the glasses you have are not scratched or damaged.
The American Astronomical Society has posted recommendations on where to find safe eclipse glasses and special-purpose solar filters, which are 1,000 times darker than ordinary sunglasses: eclipse.aas.org/eye-safety/eyewear-viewers.
“Things that you have lying around the house, different types of filters, frosted glass, etc., those are not appropriate to look at the sun,” Kumar said.
“If you want to look at it with a telescope, there are solar filters that you can use on a telescope to look at it.
Can I take my glasses off when the eclipse is in totality?
If you are in the path of totality and the moon is completely covering the sun, it would then be safe to remove your eclipse glasses to look at it, Kumar said.
And as soon as you’re out of totality, then you’re seeing the sunlight coming right back towards you,” he said.
What should people do if they think they damaged their eyes during the eclipse?
Rosenthal said anyone who suspects damage fr

On April 8, there will be a total solar eclipse that will only happen once in the continental United States, and a small portion of Michigan will be in the path of totality. s. until 2044.

Regardless of whether you intend to gaze up at the sky in that small area of Monroe County where the total solar eclipse is expected to occur beginning at 3:13 p.m. me. if you intend to see a partial eclipse in another part of the state, wearing improper eyewear could cause irreversible harm to your eyesight, according to Dr. Nitin Kumar, a senior staff ophthalmologist at Henry Ford Health.

“This event is truly incredible. It’s normal to want to look at it because it puts things in perspective and helps us understand our place in the world and the universe,” Kumar said.

“People tell me that they’re just going to pop outside for a quick look. “dot.”. When people do that and look at it without eclipse glasses, they immediately feel guilty. dot. Just don’t take that action. Keep your eyes off the sun (without eclipse glasses). It is extremely harmful to your eyes. “.

Is staring at the sun without eclipse glasses really that bad of an idea?

According to Kumar, “looking directly at the sun without any filters is basically doing the same thing to your retina as holding a magnifying glass over a bug on a sidewalk.”.

In the same way that sunlight can scorch an insect when it passes through a magnifying glass’s lens, it can also scorch an eye’s retina when it enters through a front-facing lens. The term for it is solar retinopathy.

In essence, you’re shining intense light straight onto your retina. The retina’s actual photoreceptor cells suffer thermal damage as a result, according to Kumar. Their function is to absorb light, convert it to electricity, and then deliver the electricity to the brain. We refer to them as photoreceptors. Thus, staring directly at the sun will actually burn your photoreceptors, causing harm or even the death of those cells. ****.

He compared the potential damage to what happens to a television picture when a few pixels go bad.

“Those cells cease to have function. dot. Thus, you’re essentially destroying pixels. The sun will burn out those pixels if you stare at it. Though they don’t usually regenerate, they do occasionally, according to Kumar.

Dr. A healthy retina is necessary for clear vision, according to Julie Rosenthal, an ophthalmologist, clinical assistant professor at the University of Michigan, and retina specialist at the Kellogg Eye Center.

More: Where to buy and what NASA says is safe for 2024 solar eclipse glasses.

In order to read and recognize faces and see objects up close, your most clear central vision is found in the retinal tissue in the back of the eye, according to Rosenthal. And when you look at the sun, that’s usually where the damage happens.

“The sun is a very powerful energy. Occasionally, the intense light can also cause harm to welders. It can also be caused by staring straight at a laser pointer’s light beam. “.

What signs of retinopathy are present in the sun?

“Until the damage has occurred, you won’t know that you are damaging your eyes,” said Kumar. Consider the following scenarios: you may unintentionally glance at the sun, or you may witness a sudden, intense flash that remains in your field of vision long after it has passed. Everyone has experienced that momentarily in the past. Imagine that to be permanent now.

That is, in essence, how it appears. The area that appears to be missing is either slightly off or in your field of vision, depending on how bright it is. You might not have good enough vision to read, watch TV, or perform other tasks. Your central vision—the vision that takes place in the region known as the macula—is typically impacted; your peripheral vision will remain unaffected. “.”.

Other symptoms, according to Rosenthal, can also be experienced.

According to Rosenthal, “wavy lines can occasionally remain in a person’s vision.”. The majority of people experience problems with their up-close vision when the damage is directly in the center, where they were staring directly at the sun. ****.

Rosenthal advises keeping a toddler or baby indoors during the eclipse if they are unable to wear eclipse glasses or refuse to do so.

Does sunburn have an effective treatment?

“It has no known cure,” stated Kumar. Once the photoreceptors are lost, there is no way to replace them.

All of the retinal cells in your body are limited to the amount you have at birth. There is no way for us to transplant the retina or retinal cells. If we could, we could potentially treat blinding diseases like macular degeneration. However, we are not able to accomplish that.

Additional: Clear skies are predicted for the area around Michigan on April 8, according to the early weather forecast for the 2024 solar eclipse.

“A lost cell is a cell that has vanished. The retina is now highly redundant. A significant percentage of retinal photoreceptors can be lost in patients with diseases like macular degeneration, but they can still see well, just not as well as they once did. This is the same situation. “.

According to Rosenthal, small wounds occasionally heal with time.

“During the first six months or so, the vision might get a little better, but sometimes it doesn’t heal completely,” the woman stated. “People occasionally experience blind spots or wavy lines in areas of their vision where they are unable to see. ****.

When will it start to seriously harm someone?

When exposed to the sun without protective eyewear, injuries can happen in a matter of seconds, according to Kumar.

Even during a partial eclipse, when the moon partially obscures the sun’s light but a rim of sunlight remains, he stated, “you cannot look at the sun directly without a filter.”.

According to Rosenthal, damage frequently arises during total solar eclipses when people remove their protective eyewear to witness totality, or when the moon fully covers the sun, but neglect to put on their glasses in time for the eclipse to phase out of totality.

Damage could happen then, according to Rosenthal, since people would be too focused on witnessing the eclipse’s totality and would not be aware that the sun would soon be visible again.

Damage can occur from any exposure, no matter how brief. It most certainly has the potential to occur rapidly. “.

What sort of safety eclipse glasses are there?

As per the American Academy of Ophthalmology, wearing sunglasses—even those with extremely dark lenses—welding goggles, and DIY filters won’t be enough to shield your eyes from solar eclipse damage.

Using a specialized filter, goggles, or glasses that are ISO 12312-2 certified and meet the global safety standard is the only way to view the eclipse safely. Make sure your glasses are free from scratches and other damage.

The American Astronomical Society has provided information on safe places to purchase special-purpose solar filters and eclipse glasses, which are 1,000 times darker than regular sunglasses: eclipse. viewers of eyewear at aas . org/eye-safety.

“Objects laying around the house, various kinds of filters, frosted glass, etc. those are inappropriate for gazing at the sun,” remarked Kumar.

“You can use solar filters on a telescope to look at it if you want to look at it through one. Furthermore, there are various kinds of projection systems. The most popular type is known as a pinhole projector; it consists of a tiny hole where light enters from the sun and is projected onto a background of bright paper or another material. “.”.

When the eclipse is at its peak, may I remove my glasses?

Yes, but just temporarily. It would be safe to take off your eclipse glasses and look at the sun if you are in the path of totality and the moon is fully encircling it, according to Kumar.

“Totality’s short lifespan is the issue, though. And as soon as you break out of totality, the sunlight immediately returns to you,” he remarked. “Doing it is extremely risky. I’d advise against it. ****.

What should individuals do in the event that they believe the eclipse caused harm to their eyes?

Anybody who thinks that viewing the eclipse could be harmful should get a fully dilated eye exam from an ophthalmologist, according to Rosenthal.

The doctor stated, “Unfortunately, there isn’t much that can be done to treat it, but we can monitor it and see if that’s really what’s causing that problem.”. We would want to rule out other possible causes of those symptoms as well. ****.

“Education and the knowledge that, despite temptation, one should avoid staring directly at the sun are the most crucial things. “.

At kshamus@freepress.com, you can reach Kristen Shamus. Pick up a Free Press subscription.

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