Not worth burning my retinas over.

Ok, I get it, it doesn’t happen all that often. But it’s only the moon and the sun meeting in the sky. Not worth burning your retinas over.

On Monday, August 21, 2017, a partial solar eclipse (about 70%) will occur in Montreal. If you really want to watch the eclipse, make sure you have the right equipment. If you are a welder and have a welders mask with a #12 filter and above, then just take a break at 2:38 PM and look up. If you’re not, here are what, can be used:


– Eclipse glasses that meet ISO 12312-2
– A pinhole projection (a whole punched in a cardboard box to view its projected image on the box (not to look through)
– Optical projection with a telescope/binoculars (see more details here

And if you don’t have the above equipment, there is always the next eclipse. There will be a total eclipse in Montreal in 2024! That one might be worth getting glasses for!

So why can’t we look directly at the eclipse? The sun is not stronger during the eclipse, its just that more people want to stare at it than any normal day. The sun’s radiations cause a photochemical injury to the retina. It is believed to be a product of free, radical formation.These free radicals damage the photoreceptors and the pigmented layer that typically protects the retina.

I have witnessed solar retinopathy at least once in my career.I had seen the patient with perfectly healthy retinas and then got in the habit of staring at the sunrise every morning as a ritual.Sure enough, a few months later she was back in the office with decreased vision and irreversible macular damage (central retinal). The damage was very similar to macular degeneration. 


For last minute vacationers, Bonnie Tyler will perform Total Eclipse of the Heart during the solar eclipse in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. She will sing the 1980s hit song on a Royal Caribbean ship departing Orlando, Fla. Tickets are currently available for 3400 USD


For more information about the eclipse, please visit the very thorough NASA website.

If you are worried you might have damaged your retinas, you can see one of our optometrists by booking directly online