by Michael T. Newcomb, MD
Lexington Clinic Ophthalmologist

On Monday, August 21, millions of people around the country and right here in our Commonwealth will get a chance to see a total solar eclipse. An event like this hasn’t taken place her e in the United States since 1979, and while it will be exciting and historic it could also be dangerous.

 Nearly all of the United States will be able to see this eclipse and parts of Central Kentucky will see upwards of 90 percent coverage as the moon passes between the Earth and sun and blocks out the light.

We’ll all be tempted to look up and see this historic event but what most people don’t realize is the danger of staring at the sun, even when it is partially or even completely covered. Looking at the sun during this eclipse, even for just a few seconds, could cause permanent damage to your eyes, including possible vision loss.

Here are a few tips to safely view the solar eclipse:
  • Wear special glasses made specifically for the eclipse
  • Make sure glasses meet international standards and are NASA approved
  • Watch out for fake glasses
  • Eclipse glasses can be found at local stores, libraries and online
  • Regular sunglasses, even if polarized, will NOT protect your eyes during this event
  • If you plan on taking pictures or video, you’ll need a special filter for your camera

Most importantly, enjoy this event. A solar eclipse like this won’t be around for a few more decades so make sure to soak it all in, but do so safely!
Our Lexington Clinic providers are here to help with any of your vision or other health needs. If you would like to find the right doctor for you, please call (859) 258-4362.
Michael T. Newcomb, MD is board-certified in Ophthalmology. He provides services in comprehensive ophthalmology for adults and children; diagnosis, management and surgical treatment of glaucoma; diagnosis, management and laser treatment of diabetic retinopathy; small incision cataract surgery.