Viewing the solar eclipse safely
IF YOU WATCH
What: Solar eclipse
When: Will peak in Youngstown at 2:33 p.m. Monday
Do not look at the solar eclipse without proper-viewing glasses.
By Dr. LINDA CHOUS
Chief Eye Care Officer, UnitedHealthcare
The first total eclipse of the sun to span coast-to-coast across the U.S. mainland in almost a century will be visible Monday for people in Ohio, where eclipse coverage will exceed 75 percent.
This rare celestial event is a spectacular occurrence; however, there are precautions people should take to help maintain their eye health while witnessing the spectacle in its full glory. Looking at a solar eclipse without proper protection can cause serious eye damage, including blurry vision that can last months, or even permanent problems.
The most important tip is to have proper eclipse-viewing glasses, which are heavily tinted – much more so than regular sunglasses – to protect your eyes as you look at the sun. Certified eclipse-viewing glasses will enable you to see the moon track across the orb of the sun until it creates a total eclipse, revealing the sun’s brilliant corona.
A solar eclipse occurs when the moon blocks any part of the sun. But on Monday, anyone within a roughly 70-mile-wide path from Oregon to South Carolina will be able to experience a total solar eclipse for about 2 minutes, weather permitting. Millions more, including people in Ohio, will be able to witness a partial eclipse.
In preparation for this rare event, UnitedHealthcare is donating 10,000 solar-eclipse glasses, as well as educational materials with tips to safely view the eclipse, to schools and the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, including 400 pairs of glasses in Columbus.
It is unsafe for anyone to look directly at the sun at any time or during a solar eclipse, other than if you are located in the path of totality during the brief total phase of the eclipse.
Use approved solar eclipse glasses and avoid fake viewers that are being sold; a list of approved vendors is available here
Some locations in the following retail chains sell ISO-compliant safe eclipse glasses:Best Buy, Circle K, Lowe’s, Pilot/Flying J, Toys “R” Us, Walmart