Fort Myers eye doctor issues solar eclipse warning

FORT MYERS, Fla. Ophthalmologists are spreading the word on how to safely view the solar eclipse on Aug. 21.

Some are saying it will be the most-watched show in the U.S. and although Southwest Florida residents will not be able to see the full eclipse, viewers can still suffer from irreversible eye damage, said Doctor Jonathan Frantz, owner of Frantz Eye care in Lee County.

“Just a few seconds of looking at the sun in the wrong way can really lead to permanent vision loss,” he said.

Normal sunglasses will not protect your eyes, Frantz said. Viewers are advised to purchase special eclipse glasses stamped with the approval code of ISO 12312-2.

Looking at the eclipse through your cellphone to capture photos or video can also be harmful, Frantz said.

“The problem is you can actually develop more retinal damage from that because the light rays are actually being focused in a small area,” Frantz said.

It’s recommended that viewers cut the glasses and tape the filter over their phone’s lens.

Frantz encourages parents to talk to their children about the importance of using the proper glasses for the event.

“The last thing we want is to have a rash of people with solar burns as something that we remember from the solar eclipse,” he said.

Even binoculars and telescopes can magnify the sun’s rays and become harmful to the eye, Frantz said.

For more information on how to view the 2017 solar eclipse safely, visit NASA’s website.

Writer:Katherine Viloria