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Health risks to look out for during the solar eclipse

5 years 6 months 4 weeks ago Sunday, August 20 2017 Aug 20, 2017 August 20, 2017 5:14 PM August 20, 2017 in Health
Source: ABC News
Picture courtesy of ABC News

BATON ROUGE - Louisiana residents will see a historical natural phenomena covering the sky on Monday, August 21 — a solar eclipse. 

As the moon shields off a section of the sun, a partial amount of sunshine will be visible causing the effect. Although exciting, this small chunk of sunlight can be dangerous without the proper protection. 

Without covering the naked eye, the sun's ultraviolet rays can penetrate the retina of your eye, causing temporary or permanent blindness. The retina does not have nerve endings, so there will be no pain or initial evidence of damage. 

NASA suggests using special glasses to safely view the eclipse. Objects like sunglasses, telescopes and cell phones are not strong enough to protect the eye from UV damage. Shade 14 welder glasses are the only exception.  

Dr. Jen Ashton says there is no safe way to view the eclipse without suitable glasses. 

"You can damage your vision in as little as a few seconds," Ashton said.

If you experience blindness for more than a few hours, experts recommend seeking medical attention. 

You can find appropriate eyewear at BREC's Highland Observatory for two dollars each. Only two adults per family can purchase the glasses. Meanwhile, LSU students and faculty can visit the Student Union to get solar eclipse glasses.

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