The Eclipse: Why You Shouldn’t Look!

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SCRANTON -- We've been hearing over and over that we should not look directly into the sun during the Solar Eclipse on Monday. But do you know why?

Dr. John Boyle is an optometrist in Scranton; all his patients want to know how to keep their eyes safe during the Solar Eclipse on Monday. He showed Newswatch 16 what the back of our retina looks like, and what would happen to it if you look directly into the sun.

"The energy from the light when it is condensed and focused, it's almost like a laser where it would burn the tissue of the retina, and that would lead to scarring, and permanent scarring would lead to permanent vision loss," Dr. Boyle explained.

The part of the eye that will scar is the macula. This is the region responsible for 20/20 vision and color vision. Scarring it would result in permanent vision loss.

"We've all seen it on TV, but I think in real life, you're going outside and you can't help but look at it. It's something we're going to be drawn to," Dr. Boyle said.

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So it's going to be our first instinct to look at the sun on Monday, but what about our pets? Newswatch 16 has been getting many calls wondering if they should be going outside during the eclipse.

"Pets will tend to try to avoid looking at the sun because it's obviously going to cause them discomfort, so it's very low risk to them to get any damage from the eclipse," said Dr. Abbey Jones of Schultzville Animal Hospital.

Dr. Jones says, though, that it would not be a bad idea to keep pets inside during the eclipse. She says her research finds the actual eclipse will not change the behavior of our pets like fireworks or thunderstorms do, but something else might.

"More than likely that it would be the owners that would cause them to act abnormal. The owners being excited or anxious about it may cause them to be more anxious during the time," Dr. Jones said.

If you do not have eclipse sunglasses, you can find other options for viewing the eclipse here. Maximum eclipse is on Monday a 2:41 pm.


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