health care,
education and
social services

health care,
education  and
social services

Eclipse Safety Tips from our Chief Medical Officer

Excited about the eclipse? Our Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Tollie Elliott, has some important safety tips for you.

As many of you may know, there will be a solar eclipse this afternoon. As the Chief Medical Officer, I wanted to inform you of the precautions regarding this occurrence and most importantly, your health. For those of you with the approved eyewear, congratulations on securing them. For those of you without the approved eyewear, please do not take chances with the health of your eyes and future vision.

The retina is a layer of nerves in the back of the eye that processes everything we see. Although the retina contributes to the sense of vision (we have five: sight, hearing, taste, smell, and touch), the retina cannot provide the sense of pain. When exposed to direct sunlight or other bright light (solar radiation, lasers, light from welding, etc.),  the retina will experience damage which cannot be repaired. With enough damage to the retina, staring at the sun can leave you partially blind.  

To reiterate, you will not feel the damage to the eye when retinal injury occurs. Prolonged UV (ultraviolet) exposure can damage the eye permanently.

Be Safe!

  1. Never look at the sun directly without protective eye gear.
  2. Sunglasses cannot protect your eyes from the damage the sun's rays can do to them.
  3. Always keep your back towards the sun while looking at a pinhole projection.
  4. Do not look at the sun through the pinhole, binoculars or telescope.

There will be plenty of opportunities to view this event online later this evening. Please have a great day and be safe.


Tollie B. Elliott, M.D

Chief Medical Officer, Mary's Center


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