Ophthalmologists warning people to protect their eyes for the solar eclipse

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The Great American Eclipse is just days away and there are more warnings from optometrists about looking directly from the sun.

Doing so could seriously damage your eyes.

Fox 2's Patrick Clark explains what you need to be aware of before you look up.

An eye-opening alert for eclipse viewing.

Jay Pepose, Director of the Pepose Vision Institute says, “Just a few seconds can burn the retina and you can have permanent damage.  In other words, you can have blind spots permanently affecting your central vision or color vision.”

Experts in eye care are weighing in on the biggest sight to hit the area since the year 1442.

Dr. Jay Pepose recommends ISO certified solar glasses to safely view the sun before totality.

“The intensity of the sun is magnified by your cornea and lens.  So just like you might take a handheld magnifying device and aim it at a leaf.  The leaf would start to catch on fire and you`d burn a hole in a leaf.  The same thing could happen with your retina.”

The time before totality and after totality is when eye doctors agree is most crucial to have your solar eclipse glasses on, especially if looking up.

“I am worried in that I want to make sure that people get this message.  If you don`t enjoy this phenomenon safely I worry that we will see people that suffer this kind of damage to their eyes.” Aid, Kumar Rao, Professor Ophthalmology at Washington University School of Medicine.

Retina specialist and ophthalmologist Kumar Rau, is encouraging parents to keep an eye on children.

“It can be hard to know at the time that you`ve damaged your eyes.  Because you know when you have a bright flash come in and you have the after effect.  The problem is with this event, if you look long enough at that bright sunlight...that after effect lasts forever.”

And that`s not the memory you want to make of a once in a lifetime event.

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