Columbus, OH,
16:28 PM

NBC4: Protecting your eyes during the total eclipse

Monday, August 21 is a historic and exciting day in the United States. For the first time in 99 years, a total eclipse will travel coast-to-coast across the continental U.S. Here in central Ohio, we’ll see the peak level of darkness from the eclipse around 2:30 p.m.

A solar eclipse is when the moon passes in front of the sun, causing it to briefly turn from day to night. While cities in the path of totality will see a total eclipse, other areas like Columbus, will see a partial eclipse.

While exciting and rare, an eclipse like this can also be very dangerous for your eyes. It is imperative to wear approved, protective glasses to view the eclipse. In fact, doctors say viewing it with your bare eyes can lead to permanent damage, including blindness. According to NASA, sunglasses alone will not protect your eyes in this case. So how do you know if the eyewear you purchased for the eclipse is going to keep your eyes safe? Take a look at a certification that should be printed on them. It should read: ISO 12312-2. If you've got that number, you should be set to watch safely.

NBC4 recently spoke to Dan Straka, MD, an ophthalmologist with Ophthalmic Surgeons and Consultants of Ohio, Inc., and OhioHealth Grant Medical Center about the eclipse and its potential dangers to the naked eye. You can view the interview in the video player above

We hope you’ll take some time to get outside today and view what is being called a once in a generation event. But please be safe and make sure to wear your approved protective eyewear.