Marion, Ohio,
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Solar Eclipse: You Know it’s Happening, But Are Your Eyes Ready?


Megan Cochran, DO, shares what you need to know to protect your eyes during this once I a lifetime event.

Dr. Megan Cochran

No one looks forward to Mondays. 

But if you’re thrilled about that chance to witness a once in a lifetime event, you probably already have Monday April 8th circled on your calendar.

That’s because the total solar eclipse is happening, and the path of totality goes right across the state of Ohio. Basically, no matter where you live in Ohio, you’re going to see some varying degree of darkness in the middle of the day.

If you’re planning now to carve out time in your day to witness it all, you’ll want to keep eye safety in mind. That’s according to Megan Cochran, DO, who specializes in Ophthalmology at OhioHealth Marion General Hospital

The following is a Q & A with Dr. Cochran to help you make the most of your eclipse-watching-plans.

Q: When watching the eclipse, how can we best protect our eyes?

A: When watching a total solar eclipse, it is very important to protect your eyes with certified solar viewing glasses that meet the ISO 12312-2 safety standard. These glasses block harmful ultraviolet, visible, and infrared radiation. The American Astronomical Society publishes an online list of approved suppliers of these glasses because during the 2017 eclipse there were many counterfeit glasses on the market.

Q: What kind of damage can happen to our eyes from looking at the sun without proper glasses?

A: Looking directly at the sun without proper eye protection during an eclipse can cause solar retinopathy. Solar retinopathy is damage to the retina (the inner lining of the eye that detects light). This could lead to permanent blurred vision, blind spots, or even total blindness. 

Q: Is it safe to look at the eclipse through a camera lens or telescope without proper glasses?

A: It is not safe to look at a solar eclipse through a camera lens or telescope without proper solar filters. Looking through a telescope or camera lens could potentially be more damaging to the eye because the lenses could concentrate the light passing through the device. 

Q: When the moon blocks the sun, is it safe to look quickly without glasses?

A: No, it is never safe to look at the eclipse without the proper eye protection. The moon is constantly moving, and your eyes could be exposed to the sudden exposure of sunlight when the moon moves and exposes the sun's radiation.

So now you have an eye safety plan in place. For more than a year, OhioHealth has been working on a plan, too. To read more about those emergency preparedness efforts, click here.