Doctors offer tips to safely enjoy solar eclipse

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BROOKLYN -

Kings County Hospital doctors are offering tips to safely enjoy next week's solar eclipse.

It's never a good idea to stare directly into the sun, though it can be tempting with a sight such as an eclipse -- even if it's partial like the one that will be visible Monday afternoon.

The sun will be partially blocked by the moon, but its rays can still be harmful to the eyes.

Dr. Joseph Tseng emphasizes the need for special glasses made specifically for solar eclipse viewing. Any pair of sunglasses, no matter how dark or expensive, just won't cut it, he says. Otherwise, a few seconds of sun staring can cause damage to the eyes.

Anyone planning on capturing the event through a camera or phone should outfit them with filters. Even looking through a camera lens can prove disastrous.

"Some patients are left with permanent and very disabling deficits such as blindspots in your vision," Tseng says. "They can lose color vision, they can sometimes see distortions in their vision."

For those looking to get a pair of solar glasses, be mindful of scammers selling bogus shades not approved for viewing. Only certified glasses can be used for safe viewing. The American Astronomical Society has compiled a list of reputable vendors.

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