Eyecare Experts and Organizations Warn Against Faulty Eclipse Glasses


NEW YORK—The Great American Solar Eclipse is only two weeks away and with Aug. 21 fast approaching, many vendors and ECPs are beginning to sell solar eclipse viewing glasses.

As VMWeekend previously reported, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) warned against purchasing eclipse glasses from Amazon because they are not guaranteed to be safe. The organization also issued a flyer that indicates ways to know that your glasses meet the safety standards.

Despite NASA’s efforts, however, counterfeit viewing glasses are still making their way to consumers. To try and combat this problem, the American Astronomical Society (AAS) issued a list of reputable vendors of solar filters and viewers, which can be found here.

"It's not that hard to make a dark film that reduces the sun's visible brightness to a comfortable level. The challenge is making sure that you know that it's also blocking the sun's invisible light,” Dr. Rick Fienberg, press officer for the AAS, told My News 13. “I've looked through a number of fakes that actually produce pretty decent images of the sun, and for all I know, they're safe. But I don't know for sure. And if I only have two eyes, I'm not going to be able to replace them, so I don't want to take that risk.”

The AAS’ list includes American Paper Optics, TSE 17, Rainbow Symphony, and Thousand Oaks Optical, all of whom, as VMail previously reported, were compiled by the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) in conjunction with the AAS.

Meanwhile, ECPs are still playing their part in making sure that their local communities are informed. According to the American Optometric Association (AOA), doctors such as Kim Baxter, OD, of Complete Eyecare Associates in North Platte, Neb. are currently fulfilling an informational void due to the excitement surrounding the eclipse.

“The media is hungry for information to share with their readers or viewers, and nobody's better qualified than optometry to provide that information," Dr. Baxter stated. "We had 500 pairs of solar eclipse glasses that we were giving away in the office. I went on the radio one morning to discuss eclipse eye safety and then within a day, all 500 pairs were gone.”