BEWARE: Doctors warn of fake eclipse glasses

by: Sophia Choi Updated:

ATLANTA - With just two weeks until the total solar eclipse, doctors are warning about a flood of counterfeit eclipse glasses hitting the market.

A local optometrist told Channel 2’s Sophia Choi that people are buying fake ones without knowing it, and that using them could lead to permanent vision loss.


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The eclipse will darken most of the bright sun in Atlanta on Aug. 21, but not all of it.

“There’s enough light that gets around, even with 97 percent of totality, that can damage, burn the retina in the back of the eye,” Dr. David Ross said.

That’s why Ross says you need to make sure you wear verified solar glasses, like these Channel 2 Action News glasses, which are much stronger than regular sunglasses.

These Channel 2 Action News Eclipse glasses are verified, but doctos warn that some glasses are not.

“They are not the traditional sunglasses. Two or three pairs mounted on top of the other is not an adequate amount of protection,” Ross said.


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To make sure your glasses are the real thing, look for the ISO symbol and the manufacturer’s name.

Ross says NASA has a list of approved vendors.

“Now, unfortunately, there are fake eclipse glasses that are being distributed. You must get them from a NASA-approved site. Others might be safe, but we do not know for certain that they are safe,” Ross said.

The verified glasses are covered in silver film to block out harmful rays.

“They block 99.9 percent of the light. You really can’t see any light at all,” Tellus astronomer David Dundee said.

By wearing the glasses, you will safely see the eclipse and protect your eyes for the next one in 2024.

Make sure to check your glasses for pinholes or scratches by holding them up to the light. Ross says any light that comes through can damage your eyes.