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Health Unit offers advice for safely viewing total solar eclipse

A rare solar event is happening in a few weeks, and staff members at the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit are warning you to be careful watching it. 

On April 8th, between 2:00 and 4:30 PM, a total solar eclipse is happening over the Leeds-Grenville area, meaning the moon will cover the sun. 

However, Health Unit staff say despite it appearing darker, it’s still extremely dangerous to look right at the sun during a total eclipse. 

According to a release from the organization, staring right at the eclipse can burn your retinas, which could make your vision worse temporarily or permanently. 

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“Once symptoms begin, it’s usually too late to reverse any damage,” explains Medical Officer of Health Dr. Linna Li. “This is why prevention and protection for your eyes is very important.” 

Staff say staying inside and not looking at the sun is the best way to avoid any kind of damage. 

If you do want to watch the eclipse, they say you shouldn’t use normal sunglasses, binoculars, a telescope, smoked glass or polarizing filters for cameras. 

Instead, you can buy a pair of ISO-certified “eclipse glasses,” which are available online. 

If you don’t want to buy glasses or can’t get a pair in time, staff say you can also view the eclipse online through a livestream that will be hosted by the Canadian Space Agency. 

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