Watch out for these.

Sun Struck

People are getting excited for the next total solar eclipse in North America, slated for April 8 this year — but experts warn that the market’s being flooded by fake protective solar eclipse glasses that may lead to vision damage or even permanent blindness.

The American Astronomical Society (AAS) is now sounding the alarm on these counterfeit wares.

“With millions of North Americans only now becoming aware that a solar eclipse is imminent and seeking to get their hands on eye protection, it is critical that everyone understand how to spot unsafe products,” AAS said in a statement, warning that staring at the eclipse without proper protection could cause grim symptoms “ranging from temporarily impaired vision to permanent blindness.”

The fraudulent solar eclipse glasses are virtually indistinguishable from the real thing. Just like the authentic glasses, they are made of cardboard with black colored filters.

If you want to make sure you have real solar eclipse glasses that will provide adequate eye protection, the AAS recommends you buy them from a vetted vendor listed by the AAS.

Eclipse of the Heart

Looking at the Sun during a total solar eclipse without proper eye protection can result in permanent eye damage called solar retinopathy, in which the Sun’s rays are literally burned into your retina.

Even a few seconds of looking at the Sun can cause eye damage, as in the 2017 case of a young woman who looked at a solar eclipse and started seeing a crescent-shaped black spot in her vision that doctors say will likely be permanent.

That in mind, people will need to exercise caution on the day of the eclipse.

If you don’t have proper solar eclipse glasses handy, the AAS recommends viewing the celestial event via an indirect method by making at home a solar pinhole projector.

And if you don’t have time to do that, you can even take a metal pasta drainer and project light from the eclipse through the tiny holes. But please, don’t look directly at the Sun through the holes!

More on solar eclipses: Woman Has Permanent Crescent in Vision Afer Staring at Eclipse


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