Eclipse glasses: Are they just for nerds?

"NO!" say the experts, warning that there's a very good chance you will lose part of your vision if you don't use them.

“The condition is called solar retinopathy, and it occurs when bright light from the sun floods the retina on the back of the eyeball. The retina is home to the light-sensing cells that make vision possible. When they’re over-stimulated by sunlight, they release a flood of communication chemicals that can damage the retina. This damage is often painless, so people don’t realize what they’re doing to their vision.

An Oregon man, Lou Tomososki, has become the face of the Wear Your Glasses campaign. As an indestructible high school student in 1962 he and a buddy both looked too long at the sun during a partial eclipse. In 20 seconds, he permanently lost part of his vision.

This, understandably, has led to panic, as people who thought glasses were for nerds scramble to get a pair, and as people who bought glasses worry if they're good enough.

"Counterfeit" eclipse glasses are an issue. So are glasses that have not been properly tested and certified.

A city office at the wealthy Portland suburb of Lake Oswego handed out glasses that were not properly tested, resulting in a panicked release from their public information office. Those glasses "may not comply with industry standards and therefore should not be used to observe the solar eclipse."

The City has not received confirmation from the supplier that the free solar eclipse glasses were sourced from a recommended manufacturer who used the correct ISO testing method and standard.  We want residents to have confidence in the items the City of Lake Oswego provides to our community, and ensure these items are safe and comply with all safety standards.  We recommend you DO NOT use the free glasses the City provided to view the sun or the solar eclipse.

If you got your eclipse glasses from Lake Oswego you have several options:

  1. You can go to Fantasy Adult Video, where they still have the good ones, which are certified, for free. (Tell ’em Matt sent you.)
  2. You can try finding an Amazon seller wiling to sell you a paper pair for hundreds of dollars.
  3. You can buy or borrow a welding helmet. (This is what I did.)
  4. You can go blind.
  5. You can miss the eclipse.