ECLIPSE: QMG promotes safe eclipse viewing

By Herald-Whig
Posted: Aug. 12, 2017 7:30 pm Updated: Aug. 12, 2017 7:40 pm

EDITOR'S NOTE: QMG has given all of its solar glasses away.

Quincy Medical Group is partnering with WGEM to provide free solar glasses to local families and teachers for viewing the Aug. 21 eclipse safely.

The glasses will be available while supplies last at Quincy Medical Group, 1025 Maine, on both the first floor and in the Eye Department on the fourth floor.

The giveaway is limited to four glasses per family. Teachers may show their school badge to receive 30 pairs for students.

Special solar glasses must be worn to protect the eyes while watching the partial eclipse, which will begin in Quincy at 11:47 a.m. and end at 2:40 p.m. The eclipse will reach its peak at 1:14 p.m., when 97.7 percent of the sun is covered by the moon.

Dr. Eric Sieck, a QMG ophthalmologist, said no one should look at the partial eclipse without wearing protective solar glasses, because even the small amount of sun exposed during the peak of the eclipse can be harmful to the eye.

"The direct sunlight effect on the retina is very damaging," he said. "It can cause long-term scarring, loss of vision and potential for serious injury."

Sieck said children are more susceptible to eye damage than adults.

"Their eye tissue is younger, the structures in their eyes are much clearer, there's more transmission of the energy to the back of the eye," he said. "People need to take care of their children first with appropriate eyewear before they put their own eyewear on."

Sieck advises anyone buying solar glasses to make sure the glasses are stamped with an International Organization for Standardization -- or ISO -- rating of 12312-2 to ensure they provide adequate protection.

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