Amid Total Solar Eclipse Craze, Experts Warn Not All Eye-Wear May Offer Right Protection

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Many companies are selling special eye-wear ahead of this month’s rare total solar eclipse.

But experts warn that not all “eclipse shades” on the market are equipped to offer the right protection.

The American Astronomical Society has published a list of reputable vendors supplying proper eclipse glasses, one of which is Rainbow Symphony in Encino.

“What we’re seeing coming in from other places around the world are lenses that are not ISO-certified that have too much light transmission and it’s really a dangerous thing,” said Mark Margolis of Rainbow Symphony.

Ophthalmologist David Aizuss says those planning to view the eclipse must wear the proper protective eye-wear to prevent harm to their eyes.

“When there is an eclipse occurring and the sun is partially occluded, it’s much more comfortable to stare at the sun and during that time period you could develop a burn on the retina,” Dr. Aizuss said. “That’s the real problem and you could get something called solar retinopathy, which can permanently damage the retina.”

The rare celestial event marks the first time since the 1970s that the U.S. will be able to see a total solar eclipse.

NASA says the total eclipse will be visible across 14 states in the U.S., as well as parts of South America, Africa, and Europe.

In Los Angeles, while the total solar eclipse won’t be visible, Angelenos will be able to see about 60 percent of it.

For a list of reputable manufacturers and authorized dealers of solar filters, click here.

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