31.12.2010

Partial eclipse "a danger to eyesight"

Partial eclipse "a danger to eyesight"

By Alexa Kaczka

Next week's partial eclipse of the sun may pose a danger to people's eyesight if they do not take the proper precautions to view it, an expert has warned.

Advice issued by Dame Sally Davies, the UK's interim chief medical officer, states that people should ensure they have a proper viewing device such as a pinhole camera ready on Tuesday (January 4th), when the eclipse takes place between 08:00 and 09:30 GMT.

Those who do not take precautions may end up with severe eye problems from staring at the sun, including burned retinas or even blindness, she warned.

"Under no circumstances should people look directly at the sun during a partial eclipse. The risks of doing so are very real and could lead to irreversible damage to eyesight and even blindness," Dame Sally said.

According to the NHS, one of the safest ways in which people can view an eclipse is by using a pinhole camera, which do not cost a lot but provide protection from the danger of the sun's direct rays.

by Emily Tait


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