REDDING, Calif. – The solar eclipse is less than a week from now. People who haven’t found a pair of viewing glasses yet need to hurry. The specialized glasses are selling out at most retailers and there has been a widespread recall on Amazon.
“The sun’s pretty much the only thing else you can see. It’s hard to navigate or walk around” said Dr. Kristi Davis, a Redding Optometrist.
Northstate residents will see an 85 percent eclipse of the sun. Dr. Davis said viewers will need American Astronomical Society approved viewing glasses.
“Normally when you look at the sun with the naked eye you have a blink reflex and your pupils constrict to help you keep those damaging rays from going into your eyes, but on a solar eclipse the moon is between and it causes shade and it’s comfortable to look at the sun, but it still has that damaging effect.” said Davis.
Without the glasses, viewers can get solar retinopathy.
“This would be a hole basically that was burned in the retina there,” said Dr. Davis “Some people use the analogy of a magnifying glass burning ants.”
The rush is on to buy eclipse glasses. Libby Niessink said she ordered some on Amazon, but they came broken and then a massive recall was announced.
“I contacted the seller and said that they were broken. I needed them replaced, then I got the email from Amazon saying there was no verification that the filter in those glasses was what they say they are,” said Niessink “They said do not use them, don’t look at the sun with these.”
Other patients came into Dr. Davis’ office looking for the glasses imprinted with ISO 12312-2 verifications, compliant with international safety standards.
“I think I’m going to be at one of the schools in the Gateway School District. I’m a board member there so I’m going to go to one of their schools and watch it, but I want to make sure my niece has a pair,” said Lynn Giovannoni who was buying glasses today.
Dr. Davis said people need to make sure their child is old enough to wear the glasses properly. It’s better for young kids to watch the eclipse on TV or another indirect way because the glasses won’t fit them well. Glasses could slip and the child’s eyes could be damaged.