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CMC Gives Eclipse Viewing Eye Safety Tips

Posted on August 16, 2017

Crossville is in the Path of Totality

The excitement is building in Crossville for the Total Solar Eclipse on Monday, August 21. Everyone is encouraged to be cautious and use proper eye safety Dr. Pattersonprecautions during this once in a lifetime event.

Ophthalmologist, Dr. Michael Patterson with Cumberland Medical Center confirms that not watching the eclipse properly can cause irreversible eye damage, and in some cases it can cause blindness.

“A little preparation now can help you safely enjoy the eclipse and still keep your eyes healthy,” confirms Dr. Patterson. “Be sure to also closely supervise any children during the eclipse.”

Crossville is in the Path of Totality that spans twelve states nationwide, which means it will have some of the best and longest eclipse viewing time. It is estimated that the eclipse in our region will last approximately two minutes and thirty seconds. The partial eclipse phase will begin at 12:02 PM (CDT) with the totality view beginning at 1:30 PM (CDT).

During the eclipse, the sun will gradually disappear behind the moon and then reappear. This is when the sun’s outer most layer is visible. Anyone planning to view the eclipse should wear a pair of solar viewing glasses or handheld solar viewers.

American Academy of Ophthalmology warns that ordinary sunglasses, even very dark ones, or homemade filters are not safe for looking at the sun during an eclipse. To safely view the eclipse, viewing solar glasses (or viewers) must meet the worldwide standard known as ISO 12312-2.

They encourage everyone to follow these eclipse viewing safety tips:

  • Carefully inspect your viewing device for any scratches (irregularities) and make sure they are ISO 12312-2.
  • Help children properly use their eye protection during the duration of the eclipse.
  • Put the glasses on prior to looking at the sun.
  • The only time you can safely remove the eyewear is during the time the moon completely covers the sun’s bright face and all goes dark. As soon as the sun reappears, immediately put the eyewear back on.
  • It is not recommended to remove the glasses until the eclipse is fully over or you are no longer looking at the sun.  
  • Never look at the eclipse through an unfiltered camera lens, telescope, binoculars or similar devises. Doing so is unsafe and can damage your eyes. 

Dr. Patterson with Eye Centers of Tennessee concludes, “Bottom line; please take proper precautions to protect your and your loved ones eyes. If you don’t, it can cause irreversible eye damage. One may not have symptoms of eye damage until 24 hours after the eclipse.”  

If you, or your loved one, experiences blindness from the eclipse, please follow up with your physician or go to the emergency department.


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