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Don’t count on the moon to protect your eyes from frying during the Great American Eclipse.
Proper eye protection is essential to preventing serious and potentially permanent vision damage. Ophthalmologists agree that eye injuries can occur instantaneously, and the eyes can experience discomfort within several hours after exposure.
“The sun is incredibly bright – some 400,000 times brighter than a full moon,” said Dr. Linda Chous, vision expert and chief eye officer at UnitedHealthcare.
“Any amount of exposure can cause short-term and long-term damage,” Chous added.
Signs of damage to watch for include sensitivity to light, eye pain or loss of vision in one or both eyes, according to vision experts.
However, even in the absence of eye pain, it is still likely that the eyes have experienced some level of damage, said Dr. Howard Purcell, senior vice president of customer development at Essilor of America.
“With some diseases like glaucoma, there’s no pain associated with it,” he said. “The same thing [applies] here; the individual is unlikely to feel any pain at all.”
Following a solar eclipse in the United Kingdom in 1999, public health officials reported a surge of calls from those with apparent eye injuries. A week after the eclipse, at least 14 cases of permanent damage were confirmed.
The American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Astronomical Society recommend wearing eclipse glasses that are ISO 12312-2 certified.
“Be aware that it doesn't matter if glasses are darker or polarized,” said Dr. Lisa Park, ophthalmologist and associate professor of ophthalmology.
“The most important criteria is that the wavelengths of light are blocked by the filter, which is why the certification is relevant,” Park said.
The only period in which it’s safe to remove protective eye gear is during the few brief minutes of totality, when the moon eclipses the sun completely.
“Even if there’s an edge of the sun that’s still visible, you’re still at risk,” Purcell said.
It happens when a sun burns a hole in the retinal tissues.
“This is a permanent damage that can be created on the retina, the back of the eye – kind of [like] the film of the camera, if you will,” Purcell said.
The eyes can also be impacted in the short term by the sunburnlike photokeratitis, which occurs when the cornea is scorched from the intensity of the sun, according to vision experts.
In the wake of recent reports of fake solar eclipse glasses being sold, it’s essential that spectators ensure that their eyes are properly protected.
“There are about 13 different brands that are ISO approved,” said Purcell. “It’s really important that you’re making sure you’re getting them from those particular brands.”
Ophthalmologists recommend that those impacted by any sun-related vision damage visit an eye care professional immediately.
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The arrival of cooler, less humid air in the northeastern United States will coincide with the first days of fall this weekend.
On Monday, Sept. 17, a series of tornadoes from Hurricane Florence struck Virginia and caused heavy destruction in the Richmond area, including a tree that was housing 70,000 bees.
While crests will continue to work downstream along the major rivers in the eastern part of the Carolinas into next week, some unprotected areas may stay flooded until the end of September or early October.
No obstante, organizaciones sin fines de lucro crearon la primera Guía para la Protección de la Niñez y la Adolescencia en Situaciones de Emergencia o Desastres.
The newest storm in the western Pacific Ocean will track through the Philippine Sea this weekend, potentially developing into a typhoon before impacting land next week.
The Carolinas continue to deal with Florence's aftermath while flooding inundated other parts of the U.S. this week.
As disaster relief efforts continue in the wake of Hurricane Florence, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has imposed restrictions on drone usage in areas affected by the storm.
Animals in the path of Florence were rescued by volunteers and taken across America to Virginia, Georgia, Tennessee and as far as Ohio and Pennsylvania.