Inadequate solar eclipse glasses could leave you blindside

Posted at 10:17 PM, Jul 23, 2017

As hundreds of thousands of people are getting ready for the total solar eclipse on August 21st some optometrists are worried people could be blindsided by inadequate eclipse glasses. If you don't protect your eyes, you could end up with permanent damage, but don't reach for your sunglasses, they're not going to help. 

"They may say UV protection but they are not going to block out enough light to prevent damage to the retina when you are looking at the sun," explained Dr. Shawn Sorenson of Eagle Vision One.

You could use a welders helmet grade 14 or above, but there is another solution, special solar eclipse glasses, But doctors and even NASA say you can't trust them all.

"They could be ok we just don't have any way for sure to say that they are," said Dr. Sorenson. 

NASA is recommending using glasses from only four different U.S.A manufacturers. You're going to want to look for a pair of glasses with the International Organization for Standardization seal on them and the ISO reference numbers 12312-2. Without those marking, experts warn, you could be putting yourself at risk.

"It really is the only way we can trust that you're getting the full protection you need and so if it's not ISO certified were really telling people you got use them at your own risk," said Dr. Sorenson. 

On the big day if you're headed to Weiser or another area that's in the path of totality you can take your glasses off for more than two minutes when the moon is directly in front of the sun. But if you're staying in Boise, you'll want to keep them on even when day turns to night or in the worst case scenario, you could end up losing your sight.

"The best thing right now is prevention if does happen to you there are no current surgeries out there that can correct this," said Dr. Sorenson. 

Experts also warn if the lenses are scratched or wrinkled don't use them.