Yurseh knows the importance of special glasses for eclipse viewing. “I’d hate to go blind over one amazing event,” he said.
Dr. David Leach at the Tampa Eye Clinic pointed out that not everyone realizes the difference between a glance at the sun on any given day and really looking at the solar eclipse. “When that energy comes into the eye in a concentrated fashion like that, it’s going to damage those nerve cells, and once they’re damaged, they can’t be repaired,” he said.
People in Tampa will see a partial eclipse. The moon is expected to obscure about 81% of the sun. “There’s still 19% of the sun coming in, and that amount of energy when it’s focused on the retina can do damage,” Dr. Leach said, like blind spots or total blindness.
Dr. Leach stressed that normal sunglasses will not offer enough protection. “The concept here is that you want to block all that energy from getting to the retina to cause damage to the back of the eye,” he said.