• Printer Friendly Version
  • Decrease Text Size
  • Increase Text Size
  • PDF

Thursday, March 28, 2024

Don't Get Blinded by the Light. Here’s Your Guide to Safe Solar Eclipse Viewing

Posted By: Advancing Care

Medically Reviewed by Max Schlesinger, MD

While solar eclipses are undoubtedly mesmerizing, they also pose potential risks to your vision if not viewed with caution. Here’s how to safeguard your eyes while avoiding vision hazards.

How a solar eclipse affects your vision

A solar eclipse happens when the moon passes between the Earth and the sun, momentarily obscuring the view of the sun. Even when only partially obscured, the sun emits harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays. If you stare directly at the sun during an eclipse, the intense UV radiation can damage the cells in the retina, leading to permanent vision loss or blindness.

solar eclipse

This occurs because the eye's natural defenses, such as blinking and pupil constriction, are diminished during the eclipse due to the reduced brightness of the sun. It's crucial to avoid looking directly at the sun without proper eye protection during a solar eclipse to prevent serious eye damage.

It’s important to note that while the Hudson Valley will only be experiencing a partial eclipse, it can still be dangerous to look directly at the sun.

Here are some important dos and don'ts to ensure a memorable and safe experience:


  • Use specially designed solar eclipse glasses or viewers that meet international safety standards.
  • Discard any solar eclipse viewers that are older than three years or have any scratches, damage, or defects.
  • Tell your friends, family, and community members about the importance of eye safety during a solar eclipse.
  • Keep your eclipse glasses on — even brief exposure can increase the risk of eye injury.


  • Never attempt to view the sun directly with the naked eye, binoculars, telescopes or cameras, even if you think the sun is covered by the moon.
  • Avoid unverified or uncertified solar viewers, as they may not provide adequate protection.
  • Do not use cameras without solar filters, which are designed to prevent damage to both your eyes and the camera's sensor.

Remember, safeguarding your vision should always be the top priority when observing a solar eclipse. By following these rules of thumb, you can enjoy this astronomical event while protecting your eyes from harm.

Should you experience vision changes during or following the viewing of an eclipse, seek immediate consultation with an eye physician, such as an ophthalmologist or retina specialist.

WMCHealth’s ophthalmologists maximize ultramodern therapies, technology, equipment, and medical research to provide innovative evaluation and treatment of complex eye disease.Schedule your next eye health appointment at a WMCHealth provider location convenient for you.