The WellSpan Spotlight

Health and wellness

Be safe during the solar eclipse with these bright ideas


As excitement over Monday's upcoming solar eclipse grows, remember to take the right precautions to protect your peepers.

Dr. Colleen Rae-Jenkins, WellSpan Eye Care, offers these reminders to safely view the solar eclipse, all while you have fun.

Use eye protection

Never look directly at the sun during a solar eclipse without adequate eye protection. Regular sunglasses, homemade filters, or uncertified glasses from some online stores aren't enough to keep your eyes safe. Instead, use solar eclipse glasses that have special filters to block harmful ultraviolet and infrared radiation, allowing you to view the eclipse safely. Look for glasses that are marked with the ISO 12312-2 safety certification.

If you are up for a project, try a pinhole projector as an indirect method to observe a solar eclipse. This involves creating a small hole in a piece of cardboard and projecting the sun's image onto another surface, such as a white sheet of paper.

"Eye damage from the sun can have permanent consequences, resulting in blurred or distorted vision and dark spots," explained Dr. Rae-Jenkins. "If you experience any problems with your vision after sun exposure, it is important to get help from a medical eye care professional right away."

Supervise children

Children are particularly vulnerable to eye damage during a solar eclipse. Ensure they understand the importance of not looking directly at the sun without proper eye protection. Supervise them closely and provide them with certified solar eclipse glasses or use pinhole projection methods.

Take care with photos

If you plan to take pictures of the solar eclipse, remember that looking through the camera's viewfinder without proper protection can harm your eyes. A solar filter on your camera lens can reduce the intensity of sunlight entering the camera.