CIHA Eye Clinic offers eye health essentials, free viewing glasses for April 8 Solar Eclipse

A message from CIHA Optometrist, Dr. Sharhonda Harrill regarding the upcoming Solar Eclipse.  


The American Optometric Association (AOA), the leading authority on quality eye care and an advocate for our nation’s health, is sharing tips for safe viewing during the upcoming total solar eclipse that will cross North America on April 8, 2024.


A total solar eclipse happens when the Moon passes between the Sun and Earth, completely blocking the face of the Sun. For residents of Western North Carolina, the Solar Eclipse will be partially visible, meaning anywhere from 80 to 86 percent of the sun will be covered during the event.


Tips for Viewing a Solar Eclipse


It’s not safe to look directly at the Sun without specialized eye protection for solar viewing.


  1. –Use approved solar eclipse viewers. The only safe way to view a partially eclipsed sun is through special-purpose solar filters, such as “eclipse glasses” or viewers that meet international standard ISO 12312-2 for safe viewing. Sunglasses, smoked glass, unfiltered telescopes or magnifiers, and polarizing filters are unsafe. Inspect your eclipse glasses or handheld viewer before use – if torn, scratched, or otherwise damaged, discard the device. While supplies last, free solar eclipse glasses can be picked up at the CIHA Eye Clinic.


  1. –Technique of the pros. Stand still and cover your eyes with your eclipse glasses or solar viewer before looking up. After viewing, turn away and remove your glasses or viewer — do not remove them while looking at the sun. If you normally wear eyeglasses, wear your eclipse glasses over them, or hold your handheld viewer in front of them.


  1. –Visit your doctor of optometry. If you should experience discomfort or vision problems following the eclipse, visit your local doctor of optometry for a comprehensive eye examination. 


Eclipse glasses are NOT regular sunglasses – regular sunglasses, no matter how dark, are not safe for viewing the sun.


All symptoms should be treated as urgent until viewed by a doctor of optometry. If you suspect an eye or vision problem, don’t hesitate to call your local practice – this is the best way to combat potentially severe complications, including vision loss.


For more information on solar eclipses and eye safety, visit

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