American Optometric Association Shares Eye Safety Information & Resources Ahead of Annular Solar Eclipse

October 3, 2023

Alexandria, VA – September 19, 2023 – Ahead of the Annular Solar Eclipse, taking place on October 14, the American Optometric Association (AOA) is sharing eye safety information with the public as part of the organization's mission to protect the eye health and vision of Americans. Additionally, the AOA is supplying materials for member doctors to use to further amplify the message.

According to the National Aeronautical and Space Administration (NASA), an annular solar eclipse happens when the Moon passes between the Sun and Earth while it is near its farthest point from Earth. Because the Moon is farther away from Earth, it appears smaller than the Sun and does not completely cover the star – creating a “ring of fire” effect in the sky.

Since the sun is never fully blocked by the moon during an annular solar eclipse, eye safety is a priority to prevent “eclipse blindness” which occurs when eyes are exposed to the sun and the light exposure damages or destroys cells in the retina. These retinal burns, also known as solar retinopathy, can be temporary or permanent with no associated pain.

Beginning in the U.S., the eclipse will travel from the coast of Oregon to the Texas Gulf Coast. Weather permitting, a partial solar eclipse will be visible outside the path of annularity. All phases of the annular solar eclipse will be visible along the path of annularity, which includes Oregon, Nevada, Utah, New Mexico and Texas.

For eye safety guidance to share with patients, click here. To access the member materials, visit Educate Your Community.


About the American Optometric Association

The American Optometric Association (AOA) is the leading authority on and advocate for quality eye health care, representing more than 49,000 doctors of optometry, optometry students and optometric professionals. As the sole primary eye care provider in many communities across America, doctors of optometry are often a patient's first entry point into the health care system, and have extensive, ongoing training to examine, diagnose, treat, and manage disorders, diseases, and injuries that affect the eye and visual system. Through a nationwide public health initiative, AOA's Eye Deserve More campaign is fostering awareness of the importance of eye health and vision care and the overall health benefits of in-person, comprehensive eye examinations with AOA doctors of optometry for all Americans.