Health & Well-Being

Beware Of Fake Eclipse Glasses

Mar 26, 2024

Beware Of Fake Eclipse Glasses

A total solar eclipse will happen on April 8th. It will travel a path that stretches through parts of Mexico, the United States and Canada. The planetary event is expected to attract many millions of eyes.  Watching without the protection of authentic eclipse glasses or filters, puts all eyes at risk of retinal damage.  

The solar eclipse occurs as the moon passes in front of the sun, obscuring the light and casting a dark shadow on parts of earth. The darkening of the sun, is the phase called Totality, lasting only a few brief moments. At this point they say it is “safe” to take the glasses off for a “moment.” Just don’t forget to put them back on. Retinal damage happens without warning. The damage is known as solar retinopathy and there is no treatment. Doctors urge caution. The effects range from minor to severe. Sometimes the eyes recover, sometimes they don’t. 

The rare opportunity creates a buying frenzy for special eclipse glasses. Tens of millions of eclipse glasses have been sold. The soaring demand for these special glasses brings out the counterfeiters, so it’s difficult to trust or verify product authenticity and safety. The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) recommends referring to the list of eclipse products that conform to standards set by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and published by the American Astronomical Society (AAS). 

We learn early on that it is very bad to look directly into the sun. Watching a solar eclipse is risky, even with “authentic” eclipse glasses, because you are compelled to stare at the sun. It can definitely damage your vision.  Experts agree, there is no completely safe way to view a solar eclipse. Why take the chance? Protecting your sight should always be your priority.

Total Solar Eclipse phases.
Total Solar Eclipse phases.

You don’t have to give up seeing this amazing event entirely. It will surely be one of the day’s most photographed moments. Just wait for a few minutes until the images begin posting online, then go right ahead and stare.

This article was originally published on Aug 15, 2017 and updated Mar 26, 2024.

For comments, questions or feedback, email us, or connect on Facebook or Twitter. We would love to hear from you!

About the Author: Dorrie Rush

Dorrie Rush is the Chief Content Officer and Visual Accessibility Expert at Ophthalmic Edge Patients (OE Patients), an online resource, presented by the Association for Macular Diseases, providing practical information and empowering advice for living a full and successful life with vision loss.

She is the former Director of the Grunwald Technology Center and Information Resource Service at Lighthouse International 2001 to 2016. Dorrie is known to have an eccentric view, which is particularly useful in compensating for her central vision loss from Stargardt Disease.



Copyright © 2024 Ophthalmic Edge LLC. All Rights Reserved. | Website by Kairos Studio