Forget Sunglasses: How to Keep Your Eyes Safe During the Solar Eclipse

Image: A combination photo shows the different phases of the total solar eclipse as it occurred over Longyearbyen on Svalbard ::  / The total solar eclipse is coming, and as the excitement builds, so does the worry that it will leave behind a nation of eye problems. Here’s why: You may remember taking a magnifying glass outside as a kid on a sunny day and burning a hole in a leaf or starting a small fire. It takes just a few seconds for the smoke to start. Officials say your eye is basically a very powerful magnifying glass. If you stare at the sun, you’re focusing all the energy of that light onto your retina, the light-sensitive tissue in the back of your eye, and essentially burning a hole. You won’t feel it because the retina doesn’t have any pain fibers, but the damage can happen after a few seconds.

Learn how to keep your eyes safe during the eclipse even if you don’t have the special glasses by clicking here.