Eye safety a concern during solar eclipse

Eye safety a concern during solar eclipse

Karen Davidson-Fisher and her daughter went to a solar eclipse presentation at Creighton University on Monday evening.

"I've had a lot of retinal damage, and I don't want that for my child," said Davidson-Fisher.

At the presentation, Dr. Jack Gabel of the Creighton University's Physics department gave out free solar eclipse glasses.

"It's just absolutely crucial to emphasize that serious permanent damage can be done to your eyes if you don't have the proper shades," said Dr. Gabel.

Ophthalmologist Tom Hejkal scanned the retina of FOX 42's Steve Saunders' right eye with special imaging equipment. He says the bright spot shown in the photo is my optic nerve, and just to the left is a spot called the fovea, which takes in visual detail and color.

"That the part that if you are looking at something, that's going to be focused right on that area," said Dr. Hejkal. "That's the area that can be damaged by the intense light and sunlight."

He says if you want to look at the solar eclipse, wear the special glasses to prevent injury.

"Unfortunately once the damage is done, we don't have any good ways to fix it, so the key is prevention," said Dr. Hejkal.

Unlike a pair of sunglasses, the solar glasses hardly let any light through. Only bright sunlight comes through the lenses, just enough so you can see the solar eclipse.

"There's a couple of different ways to protect your eyes," said Davidson-Fisher, "but glasses sound easy."

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