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    Naval Hospital Jacksonville Stresses Sight Safety for Solar Eclipse

    Solar Eclipse

    Courtesy Photo | Solar Eclipse, due to happen Aug. 21. The eclipse is expected to begin in Northeast...... read more read more



    Story by Rodney Foushee 

    Naval Hospital Jacksonville

    Naval Hospital Jacksonville wants everyone to protect their sight during the Aug. 21 total eclipse of the sun.

    The total eclipse — with the sun being completely blocked out by passage of the moon — will be visible in Oregon and continue across North America to South Carolina.

    Staring — even squinting — at the sun can cause serious damage to a person’s eyes. NH Jacksonville’s ophthalmologists strongly urge everyone not to look directly at the sun during the eclipse.

    “Do not stare at the eclipse, or stare at the sun at any time for that matter,” said Cmdr. Steven Maier, MD, a board-certified ophthalmologist at NH Jacksonville.

    According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology in association with the American Astronomical Society, staring at the sun during the eclipse for even a short time without wearing the right eye protection can permanently damage the retina.

    “There is no good treatment from getting such eye damage,” Maier said. “It can burn a permanent blind spot right into your central vision.”

    On the day of the eclipse if the sky is clear, most will be able to see a partial eclipse lasting two to three hours. Anyone within an approximate 70-mile-wide path from Oregon to South Carolina referred to as the ‘path of totality’ will experience the total eclipse. At that point, the moon will completely cover the face of the sun for up to 2 minutes 40 seconds and there will be total darkness.

    “Here in Florida and Georgia, we will only experience a partial eclipse. At no time during the event will it be safe for us to look at the sun without eclipse glasses,” Maier said.

    The eclipse is expected to begin in Northeast Florida at 1:16 p.m. and last until 4:11 p.m., with 90 percent of the sun covered at 2:47 p.m.

    There is only one safe way to look directly at the sun — whether during an eclipse or not — and that is with special-purpose solar filters. These solar filters are used in eclipse glasses and hand-held solar viewers. Eclipse glasses and viewers must meet a worldwide standard known as ISO 12312-2 to be considered safe for viewing the eclipse.

    “Regular sunglasses do not block enough light and all the wavelengths to prevent the sun from burning the eye,” Maier said. “Even very dark sunglasses are not nearly dark enough. Eclipse glasses are very dark — so dark that you can’t see anything at all through them unless you are looking at a very bright light.”

    The American Academy of Ophthalmology and American Astronomical Society also suggest the following steps to safely watch the eclipse:

    * Always read and follow all directions that come with the solar filter or eclipse glasses.

    * Help children to be sure they use handheld solar viewers and eclipse glasses correctly.

    * Carefully look at the solar filter or eclipse glasses before using them. If there are any scratches or damage, do not use them.

    * Before looking up at the bright sun, a person should stand still and cover both eyes with the eclipse glasses or solar viewer. After glancing at the sun, turn away and remove the filter — do not remove it while looking at the sun.

    * Never look at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed sun through an unfiltered camera, telescope, binoculars or other similar devices. This is important even if wearing eclipse glasses or holding a solar viewer at the same time. The sun’s rays are too powerful coming through these devices and will damage a person’s eyes as well as the solar filter.

    For more information on safely viewing the eclipse, visit

    NH Jacksonville’s priority since its founding in 1941 is to heal the nation’s heroes and their families. The command is comprised of the Navy’s third largest hospital and five branch health clinics across Florida and Georgia. Of its patient population (163,000 active and retired sailors, soldiers, Marines, airmen, guardsmen, and their families), about 85,000 are enrolled with a primary care manager and Medical Home Port team at one of its facilities. To find out more or download the command’s mobile app, visit



    Date Taken: 08.16.2017
    Date Posted: 08.16.2017 15:06
    Story ID: 245070
    Location: JACKSONVILLE, FL, US

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