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

March 18, 2024

Alexandria, VA – March 11, 2024 – Ahead of the total solar eclipse, taking place on April 8, 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), a total solar eclipse happens when the Moon passes between the Sun and Earth, completely blocking the face of the Sun. Except during the brief total phase of a total solar eclipse, when the Moon completely blocks the Sun’s bright face, it’s not safe to look directly at the Sun without specialized eye protection for solar viewing.

To prevent “eclipse blindness” which occurs when eyes are exposed to the sun and the light exposure damages or destroys cells in the retina, 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.

The AOA is also sharing that all symptoms should be treated as urgent until viewed by a doctor of optometry and encouraging the public to find a local AOA optometrist using the doctor locator.

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.