Eclipse Warning: Eye Damage Can be Permanent

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The first coast-to-coast total solar eclipse in a century happens the morning of August 21.

If you plan to see the eclipse, be sure to protect your eyes. Even the darkest sunglasses do not reduce the amount of light hitting the back of your eyes by that much.

That decision cost him as bates permanently lost some vision in his right eye. Excessive light will still enter your eyes and cause damage. If you don't have eclipse glasses yet, you really should get them as soon as possible.

You will also need to use solar filter on cameras, binoculars and telescopes and don't use eclipse glasses to look through them as the focused sunlight can melt the filter and damage the eyes.

Do not remove glasses or filter while still looking at the sun.

If you know of a local store selling solar eclipse glasses or solar viewers, let us know by clicking the "connect" button at the top of this story or by adding a comment below.

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The total solar eclipse is going to be a BIG DEAL that millions of people will watch - and for good reason! "The eclipse glasses are really simple, it's just layers upon layers, and the color of the lenses is unique to that wavelength that will be coming off the sun", Schmidt said.

"The worry in the eclipse is that people are so interested to see one of the great astronomic spectacles that they will suppress their inner drive to look away from the very bright light", Van Gelder said. Watching the eclipse will be a memorable experience, but please don't let it be ruined by not following the safety protocols for viewing this wonderful event.

It's only safe if you are in the thin path of totality, which will pass through parts of 14 states, AND during the brief time when the moon fully eclipses the sun, when day turns into night, Van Gelder said.

You must look for glasses that meet the ISO 12312-2 worldwide standard for such products, NASA advises. Many of our local libraries even offer these glasses for free.

Eclipse glasses are relatively affordable anywhere from $3 to around $10, but be sure the glasses are specifically made to handle the concentration of light.

There have been reports of people becoming legally blind in at least one eye after watching eclipses, Van Gelder said.

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