Experts Explain Why You Need to Wear Special Glasses Before and After the Total Eclipse

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WOLO)- The Midlands is gearing up to be the destination for a front row seat to view the Total Eclipse. While many will be excited to watch the once in a lifetime event, there is one item you must have that day to view it safely.

Experts say at 2:41 p.m. on August 21st, our famously hot city will see a Total Eclipse. In the moments leading up to totality, the sun will be partially eclipsed. Dr. Mark Robinson of Palmetto Health USC Ophthalmology said staring at the sun too long during those times can cause permanent damage.

“The retina is like the film in a camera. It lines the back of the eye. So the sunlight is focused on the retina and that’s where solar retinopathy happens. It causes burns on the retina and the burn maybe is somewhat from the heat that is focused there but also it’s a photo chemical reaction,” said Robinson.

The City of Columbia will sponsor 100,000 pairs at over 80 events during Total Eclipse weekend.

The museum’s Director of Education, Tom Falvey says the glasses the museum has on hand are authorized to protect your vision.

“The glasses have a special filter and this is the same type of filter we would use on a telescope here so when we point our telescopes it blocks so much light, you can’t possibly hurt your eyes,” said Falvey.

If you’re looking to get a pair for you and your family, the State Museum currently has two different options on sale at their gift store. ABC Columbia will keep you updated on air and online when pairs become available at the city’s visitor’s center and other locations.

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