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    Top 5 ways to help your patients safely view the solar eclipse


    5. Pegboard/straining spoon method (indirect method)

    Eclipse viewers can also use the pegboard/straining spoon method to view the eclipse indirectly.

    This is also a safe and fun way to appreciate the solar eclipse without directly looking at it, says Dr. Haynes.

    “With your back to the sun, use a pegboard, straining spoon, or similar object to project the sunrays on a white wall or the pavement,” says Dr. Haynes. “With this method, you will see multiple projected images of the sun.”

    As the eclipse passes, the sun will appear as a crescent during the partial phases of the eclipse.

    “The solar eclipse has created quite a stir around the U.S.,” says Dr. Carlson. “We have friends who have rented a house in Missouri so they can watch the total eclipse. In our office, we’ve been handing out fact sheets and distributing solar eclipse glasses to our patients.”

    Related: Sunwear and the science of light

    Handing out fact sheets and educating patients of the dangers of viewing the solar eclipse can go a long way in preventing irreversible eye injuries.

    Outside of using these five methods, Dr. Haynes says to also follow these three tips:

    • The only time that direct viewing of the eclipse without appropriate filters is safe is during the brief time of totality

    • Not all eclipse glasses and solar shields on the market are created equally. Advise your patients to look for glasses that meet the ISO safety standards for eclipse viewing. These glasses should be labeled with the ISO label and reference number 12312-2.

    • Even the darkest of ordinary-wear sunglasses do not provide appropriate filtration of harmful ultraviolet and infrared rays. Unsafe eclipse viewing without appropriate, approved filters can lead to permanent visual damage.

    If your patients are interested in more information, direct them to these websites:




    Read more from Giovanni Castelli here

    Giovanni Castelli
    Giovanni Castelli is the content specialist for Optometry Times. He is a 2014 graduate of Cleveland State University with a degree in ...


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