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Houston Eye Doctors Share What You Need to Know for Solar Eclipse Eye Safety

1888PressRelease - “Seeing a solar eclipse is an incredible experience. But, Houston residents need to be aware of the risk that viewing a solar eclipse can present if you do not take the necessary eye safety precautions,” commented Bernard Milstein, M.D. of The Eye Clinic of Texas. Understanding how to observe the solar eclipse and using some eye safety precautions will make it an awesome experience.”

Houston, TX - 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. This is a solar eclipse! The blocking of the sun will last for up to three hours from beginning to end depending on your viewing location. For this eclipse, the longest period when the moon completely blocks the sun from any given location along the path will be about two minutes and 40 seconds. 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 Houston area, we will have a partial eclipse, about 73%. The start time is 11; 46 am, the max eclipse is 1:17 pm and the end of the eclipse is 2:46 pm. This time changes depending on where in the U.S. you are located.

How Can You See It?
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 is fairly common during a solar eclipse!

However, there are many ways to safely view an eclipse of the sun, https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/safety, including direct viewing, which requires some type of filtering device and indirect viewing where you project an image of the sun onto a screen.

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 date four manufacturers have certified that their eclipse glasses and handheld solar viewers meet the ISO 12312-2 international standard for such products: Rainbow Symphony, American Paper Optics, Thousand Oaks Optical, and TSE 17.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO HAVE A FREE PAIR OF ECLIPSE GLASSES PLEASE VISIT THE EYE CLINIC OF TEXAS!

•    Always inspect your solar filter glasses before you use them. If they are scratched or damaged please discard them. Read and follow any instructions printed on or packaged with the filter. Always supervise children using solar filters.
•    Stand still and cover your eyes with your eclipse glasses before looking up at the bright sun. After glancing at the sun, turn away and remove your filter — do not remove it while looking at the sun!
•    Do not look at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed sun through an unfiltered camera, telescope, binoculars, or other optical device. Please do not look at the sun through a camera, a telescope, binoculars, or any other optical device while using your eclipse glasses because the concentrated solar rays will damage the filter and enter your eyes and potentially causing serious injury. Also, you should seek expert advice from an astronomer before using a solar filter with a camera, a telescope, binoculars, or any other optical device.

A solar eclipse is one of nature’s grandest spectacles. By following these simple rules, you can safely enjoy the view and be rewarded with memories to last a lifetime. For more information visit Eclipse at https://eclipse.aas.org or please call The Eye Clinic of Texas 800-423-3937, visit The Eye Clinic of Texas at http://www.ecot.com, Google+ at https://plus.google.com/108654290350530691936/about or http://www.facebook.com/ecot.lasik.

The Eye Clinic of Texas is an affiliate of Houston Eye Associates, the largest ophthalmology clinic in the nation. We are a leading eye care practice and LASIK center serving the greater Houston, Galveston, League City and Texas City with offices at 1100 Gulf Freeway, Suite 114, League City, Texas 77573, 7111 Medical Center Drive, Suite 110, Texas City, Texas 77590 and 2302 Avenue P, Galveston, Texas 77550 that provide all aspects of general, medical, surgical, laser and optical eye care services.

For additional information, contact:
Amy Trittel, The Eye Clinic of Texas, 2302 Avenue P, Galveston, Texas 77550, atrittel ( @ ) ecot dot com, 1-800-423-3937

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

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