Forget Sunglasses: How to keep your eyes safe during the solar e - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Forget Sunglasses: How to keep your eyes safe during the solar eclipse

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NBCNEWS.COM - The total solar eclipse is coming, and as the excitement builds, so does the worry that it will leave behind a nation of eye problems.

On Aug. 21, the spectacular sight of the moon covering the sun will be visible across North America for the first time in almost a century.

We’ll all be tempted to gaze up at the sky, but many people don’t realize they can get hurt by staring directly at the sun without the proper protection, said Dr. Russell N. Van Gelder, professor of ophthalmology at the University of Washington School of Medicine.

“The danger is real for permanent vision loss,” Van Gelder, a clinical spokesman for the American Academy of Ophthalmology, told TODAY.

“It’s a big deal for us. We don’t have a lot of public health issues in ophthalmology where we’re really worried about things that threaten the eye health of the population … But this is an event that really hundreds of millions of people are going to be exposed to.”

Even if one-tenth of 1 percent of people ignore the warnings, there could be thousands of Americans who lose some vision, he noted. Children are at highest risk.

Here’s what you need to know:

WHY YOUR EYES ARE IN DANGER: http://tinyurl.com/ycksva9y

HOW YOUR VISION COULD BE AFFECTED: http://tinyurl.com/ycksva9y

SUNGLASSES WILL NOT PROTECT YOU: http://tinyurl.com/ycksva9y

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN ECLIPSE VIEWING GLASSES: http://tinyurl.com/ycksva9y

WHEN IT’S OK TO LOOK AT THE ECLIPSE WITH THE NAKED EYE: http://tinyurl.com/ycksva9y

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