Things are getting very exciting around here as we prepare for the first total eclipse in the US since 1979! And here in Mt. Pleasant we are lucky enough to be right in the path of totality. That means that on Monday, August 21, we will see the moon completely cover the sun for about two and a half minutes. The eclipse will begin around 1:15 PM and end around 4:15 PM with the total eclipse happening around 2:48 PM. While this should be an amazing celestial event to witness, it does pose a danger to your eyes. Looking at the sun, even briefly, can cause retinal damage called solar retinopathy. This damage is usually temporary but can be permanent with a loss of your central vision. You should only view the eclipse using special eclipse glasses, even when almost all of the sun is covered. The only time it is safe to view the eclipse without any protection is during the roughly two minutes of totality. Follow these tips to make sure you enjoy the eclipse safely:
- Be sure to only use approved solar eclipse viewers when looking at the sun. They should meet the ISO 12312-2 international standard.
- Put your solar glasses on before looking at the sun and look away before taking them off
- Do not use your regular sunglasses to look at the eclipse
- Do not use cameras, binoculars or telescopes to view the eclipse unless they have the appropriate solar filter attached
- Ensure children keep their solar glasses on at all times
- Don’t use damaged solar filters, this includes scratches
- It is only safe to look at the eclipse without a solar filter when the sun is totally blocked by the moon
- Most importantly, have fun and enjoy this rare celestial event!
To make sure our patients can safely view the eclipse, we are offering solar eclipse glasses in our office starting on 7/17/2017. They are only $1 and the proceeds will benefit the South Carolina Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. More information, including videos, can be found at https://eclipse.aas.org/.