Doctor explains risk of permanent eye damage by viewing eclipse without proper protection

Eclipse Glasses (WCIV)

The upcoming total solar eclipse is a shining phenomenon, but that shine will be too bright for the naked eye.

The intense rays of the sun can permanently damage your vision if you're not careful, even when partially blocked by the moon. Local eye doctor Emily Curry is preparing her patients now.

"Damage can occur from within minutes to within seconds," Curry says.

And in the few seconds you might glance up at the sun during an eclipse, you risk lasting affects. It's called Solar retinopathy.

"The sunlight is so intense, it causes damage to the photo receptors of the macula, the very center of the retina that is responsible for 20/20 vision," Curry says. "When its damaged, it can cause permenant irreversible vision loss."

Vision damage can vary from slight to drastic, and no ordinary pair of sunglasses will protect your eyes. Instead, you'll have to trade our your shades for an approved pair of eclipse glasses.

"Eclipse glasses allows very very very tiny, minuscule amount of the direct sunlight through," said Curry.

And very tiny, is just enough.

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