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    With Retina Associates of Florida.

    Over 30 years ago, the doctors of Retina Associates of Florida. Dr. Mark E. Hammer and Dr. W. Sanderson Grizzard, dedicated their lives and careers to improving the early diagnosis and treatment of retinal and macular diseases. Today, Dr. Ivan J. Suñer and Dr. Marc C. Peden continue that commitment and treatment of diseases like diabetic retinopathy, retinal tears, retinal detachments, ocular tumors and macular degeneration. Retina Associates is also a state-of-the art diagnostic and treatment center as well as a leading clinical research center for macular degeneration and all retinal diseases. Drs. Suñer and Peden are fellowship trained macula and vitreoretinal surgeons and voted "Best Doctors in America."

    Solar Eclipse Safety: Your Retinas Are at Risk

    Watching a solar eclipse is a memorable experience, but looking directly at the sun can seriously damage your eyes. Staring at the sun for even a short time without wearing the right eye protection can damage your retina permanently. It can even cause blindness, called solar retinopathy.

    There is only one safe way to look directly at the sun, whether during an eclipse or not: through special-purpose solar filters. These solar filters are used in "eclipse glasses" or in hand-held solar viewers. They must meet a very specific worldwide standard known as ISO 12312-2.

    Keep in mind that ordinary sunglasses, even very dark ones, or homemade filters are not safe for looking at the sun.

    Steps to follow for safely watching a solar eclipse:

    1. Carefully look at your solar filter or eclipse glasses before using them. If you see any scratches or damage, do not use them. Always read and follow all directions that come with the solar filter or eclipse glasses. Help children to be sure they use handheld solar viewers and eclipse glasses correctly.

    Before looking up at the bright sun, stand still and cover your eyes with your eclipse glasses or solar viewer. After glancing at the sun, turn away and remove your filter - do not remove it while looking at the sun.

    2. The only time that you can look at the sun without a solar viewer is during a total eclipse. When the moon completely covers the sun’s bright face and it suddenly gets dark, you can remove your solar filter to watch this unique experience. Then, as soon as the bright sun begins to reappear very slightly, immediately use your solar viewer again to watch the remaining partial phase of the eclipse.

    3. Never look at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed sun through an unfiltered camera, telescope, binoculars or other similar devices. This is important even if you are wearing eclipse glasses or holding a solar viewer at the same time. The intense solar rays coming through these devices will damage the solar filter and your eyes.

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