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Eclipse blindness: What you should know to avoid damaging your eyes during the 2017 solar eclipse

Eclipse blindness: What you should know to avoid damaging your eyes during the 2017 solar eclipse
Posted at 4:24 PM, Aug 18, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-18 16:24:47-04

(KULR) EMT and ambulance volunteer, Gard Ferguson, is concerned he may have to help someone Monday, who made the same mistake he did, as a child.

Ferguson suffered permanent partial blindness when he glanced at an eclipse in the early sixties.

"And I remember my older brother saying, 'hey, let's take a look.' And we went out and looked up," said Ferguson.

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Optometrist Carl Cottrell says the sun's U-V rays are incredibly strong and can cause irreversible damage to the eye.

"So, it's called solar maculopathy, it's a very severe thing because it causes permanent damage," said Dr. Cottrell.

Cottrell also says that he is already seeing blindness in school children who get dared to look at the sun.

Ferguson wants everyone to know they have to have proper eye protection, or just don't look at the eclipse. "People can think wearing sunglasses is good enough. No. You have to have the proper eye protection. Do not look at it. Don't look at it. It's not worth the permanent damage of loss of vision. You know your eyes, that's the only ones you have."

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