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Tips for Solar Eclipse Eye Safety from Portland Maine Eye Doctors

“A solar eclipse is one of nature’s most awe-inspiring sights. Taking a minute to learn about solar eclipse eye safety precautions will make it a terrific and memorable experience,” explained Eyecare Medical Group Retina Specialist Aaron Parnes, M.D.

Portland-South Portland, ME - What is a Solar Eclipse?
On Monday, August 21, 2017, all of North America will be treated to an eclipse of the sun, or a “solar eclipse”. During a solar eclipse the moon will pass between the sun and the earth, actually blocking the sun either partially or completely depending on where you are viewing it from. The blocking of the sun will last for up to three hours from beginning to end depending on your viewing location. The last time the contiguous U.S. saw a total eclipse was in 1979. This event turns day into night and makes the normally hidden solar corona-the sun’s outer atmosphere- visible! Bright stars and planets will become visible as well. This is one of nature’s most awesome sights. In the Portland, Maine area, we will have a partial eclipse, about 67%. The start time is 1:29 pm, the max eclipse is 2:45 pm, with the end of the event occurring at 3:57 pm. This time changes depending on where in the U.S. you are located.

How Can You See It?
Beware of the risk that viewing a solar eclipse can present if you do not take the necessary eye safety precautions. You never want to look directly at the sun without appropriate protection except during totality. “Retinal burns, called “solar retinitis” or “solar retinopathy” can be produced by direct gazing at the sun. This rather serious problem is caused by the thermal effects of the visible and near infrared rays focused on the pigment structure behind the retina. We almost never see patients with solar retinopathy because the normal eye will tolerate only fleeting glances at the sun, but it can be fairly common during a solar eclipse,” explained Dr. Parnes.

The only safe way to look directly at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed sun is through special-purpose solar filters, such as “eclipse glasses” or hand-held solar viewers. Homemade filters or ordinary sunglasses, even very dark ones, are not safe for looking at the sun. “To be safe to view a solar eclipse, the eclipse gasses must meet the ISO 12312-2 international standard for such products,” explained Dr. Parnes.

You may receive a free pair of eclipse glasses, by visiting http://www.solareclipseeyedoctors.com to find an eye doctor in Maine who can answer questions and provide a complimentary pair of solar glasses as supplies will be limited. For more information, you can visit Eclipse at https://eclipse.aas.org. You may also contact Eyecare Medical Group, 53 Sewall Street, Portland, Maine 04102, visit Eyecare Medical Group at http://www.eyecaremed.com, Google+ or http://www.facebook.com/eyecaremedicalgroup.

For additional information, contact:
Kathy Brackett, Eyecare Medical Group, 53 Sewall Street, Portland, Maine 04102, kbrackett ( @ ) eyecaremed dot com, 1-888-374-2020

SOURCE: Medical Management Services Group, L.L.C.  
 
 

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