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Eclipse Can Cause Blindness, Other Damage

Eclipse Can Cause Blindness, Other Damage Read Transcript

Doctors say be careful if you're

going to watch the solar eclipse Monday

because you can severely injure your eyes unless you do it


CBN's health reporter, Lorie Johnson,

joins us now to explain.

Welcome, Laurie.

Thanks for having me.

Appreciate it.

It's an important story coming up.

It really is.


Well, what is the safe way to look at the eclipse?

A lot of people want to check it out.

But I know there's a right way to do it.

That's right, you need these special glasses.

And I'll get to exactly what type of glasses these are.

And you have to make sure to get the right kind

but before I do that, I wanted to mention

what can happen if you don't have proper eye protection.

You can actually go blind, permanently blind,

or temporarily blind because you should never look at the sun


It can actually burn the retina, which

is the back part of your eye.

And most of us don't look at the sun directly.

And the amount of damage that we can incur

depends on how high the sun is and how long we look at it.

So if it's low towards the horizon, it's safer.

But during the eclipse, it's going to be high.

And people will get a false sense of security

that, oh, there's just a crescent there.

I'm not really looking at very much of the sun.

That is incorrect because eye doctors

saw after the last solar eclipse in 1979

that people actually had burns on their retina

that were in the shape of a crescent.

So you shouldn't look at the sun during the eclipse

at all at any time unless it is fully covered.

And that's only going to last for about two minutes for only

a 70 mile wide path of the entire United States.

So these glasses are what you need.

Now I got these at Walmart--

And I had heard-- my understanding is--

and this is the disturbing part of this story,

that there are actually counterfeit glasses


So how do we know that we have the right ones like what

you're going to show us now?

Yeah, these I got at Walmart.

They were only $1.

But the key is you have to look for the special code that

says it meets the requirements of ISO 12312-2.

And I think we have that on the screen

but that's what you want to see.

Meets the requirements of ISO 12312-2.

Basically, there are a lot of counterfeits out there.

And you should never use dark sunglasses,

even welder's glasses.

They're not strong enough.

What you want to do is test your glasses.

And if you can see anything, try them.


You shouldn't be able to see anything at all.

It's just completely black.

Oh yeah, you're right.

No kidding.

Very fashionable.


I think it's a new look.

So anyway, I did get these at Walmart.

They were only $1.

So that's great.

The only problem is I had to call

around and around because most places were sold out.

Libraries are another place that are handing them out for free

or very cheaply, selling them.

But again, most of the libraries I called were sold out.

So if you can't find any of the right glasses,

this is the old fashioned way of looking at a solar eclipse.

You take a piece of cardboard and you cut a little hole

into it.

It doesn't have to be perfectly round or square or anything


And then you take a piece of aluminum foil

and you tape it to it, which I already did here.

See, there's the hole.

And here's the foil.

And then you take a little pin.

Now just a small one is fine.

And then prick it right through there where the hole is.

And what you do is, the smaller the hole the more concentrated

and the clearer the Eclipse will be.

And what you want to do is you want

to point this towards the ground and actually you're

going to be looking at the ground

and you'll be able to see an image on the ground or a screen


Don't do this.

Oh, OK, yeah.

Let the solar eclipse go through the pinhole.

And this is called a pinhole projector

and then you'll see it on the ground.

OK, well some kids are already back in school

and some teachers are allowing their kids outside.

But others are not.

What's your take on all of that?

Should kids be allowed outdoors to see this during school?

Well, you know, a lot of parents

are very upset because the teachers are saying,

even though we could go outside and watch the eclipse,

we're not going to we're going to stay in the classroom

and watch it on television or on the computer, which

is perfectly safe for your eyes and I highly recommend that.

But a lot of parents are like, hey, this

is a once in a lifetime or twice in a lifetime experience,

the kids should have it.

But it is very dangerous.

And I can see both sides.

So if parents really want their kids to see the real thing,

they should see what their school is doing.

And if the school is keeping them in,

parents might want to think about taking them out,

at least for the eclipse.

All right, our health reporter, Lorie Johnson.

Thanks as always for the information.

Important stuff.

Yes it is.

Thank you.

You bet.



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