Jill Lautenschlager of Focal Point Morden shows and demonstrates the Eclipse Shades that are available to pick up. The shades are free and are available one per family at Focal Point. (GREG VANDERMEULEN/Morden Times)
People in southern Manitoba will be able to take in a partial solar eclipse on Aug. 21, but Focal Point optometrist Jill Lautenschlager said it’s important to do so safely.
“Using proper protection is important because the Sun is very harmful,” she said. “The eclipse itself blocks part of the Sun so your pupil will get larger, thus allowing more damage to the retina or the back of the eye. It can actually burn the back of the eye.”
The damage caused can go beyond temporary discomfort.
“If there’s burns to the back of the eye you could potentially get permanent damage to vision,” she said.
Focal Point is providing special Eclipse Shades available for viewing.
“We have a limited quantity so we are limiting it to one per family, because you can share them,” she said. “They can give us a call and we can reserve a pair or they can stop by the office and pick up a pair.”
The shades are free, and make viewing the eclipse safe.
People can also use an undamaged welders mask with a lens rating of 14.
Viewing the eclipse
• Always inspect your solar filter before use; if scratched or damaged, discard it. Read and follow any instructions printed on or packed with filter - do not remove it while looking at the Sun.
• Do not look at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed Sun through an unfiltered camera, a telescope, binoculars, or any other optical device while using your eclipse glasses or hand held solar viewer - the concentrated solar rays will damage the filter and enter your eye, causing serious injury. Seek expert advice from an astronomer before using a solar filter with a camera, a telescope, binoculars or any other optical device.
• Stand still and cover your eyes with your eclipse glasses or solar viewer before looking at the bright Sun. After glancing at the Sun, turn away and remove your filter - do not remove it while looking at the Sun.