Prevent Blindness Focuses on Eye Safety for Upcoming Solar Eclipses

Experience the ‘ring of fire’ eclipse and total solar eclipse safely with proper eye protection

Prevent Blindness is getting ready for the upcoming solar eclipses visible over the United States by launching the Prevent Blindness Eclipse + Your Eyes program. The goal of the program is to educate the public on solar eclipses and raise awareness about the dangers of looking directly at the sun during an eclipse.

This educational video on safe eclipse viewing features former NASA astronaut Dr. Mike Massimino, retired NASA physicist Dr. Rafat Ansari and medical retinal specialist Dr. Amy Babiuch from Cleveland Clinic.

“During the last viewable eclipse in 2017, 215 million adults watched the event, but only 72% of people used eclipse glasses due to short supply,” said Jeff Todd, president and CEO at Prevent Blindness. “We are out to change that for these eclipses by advocating that 100% of viewers wear eye protection to view these awe-inspiring natural phenomena.”

Failure to protect the eyes while looking at the sun during a solar eclipse can result in “eclipse blindness” or solar retinopathy, causing damage or destruction to the cells in the retina. As part of its Eclipse + Your Eyes program, Prevent Blindness is offering solar eclipse glasses for purchase that are manufactured to meet the safety guidelines of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO 12312-2), with proceeds going to support the organization’s sight-saving programs.


Annular solar eclipse, October 14, 2023An annular solar eclipse will be visible across the U.S. on October 14, 2023. It will be partially visible across the entire country, and the “ring of fire” will be visible from the Pacific Northwest of the U.S. all the way to the Gulf of Mexico.

In advance of the eclipses on Oct. 14 and April 8, 2024, Prevent Blindness is also providing free fact sheets, available in English and Spanish, a solar eclipse party planning toolkit, a free eNewsletter, and additional online resources. The national nonprofit has created an educational video on safe eclipse viewing that features former NASA astronaut Dr. Mike Massimino, retired NASA physicist Dr. Rafat Ansari and medical retinal specialist Dr. Amy Babiuch from Cleveland Clinic.

“Eclipse events are a reminder to us all of the incredible beauty and science behind our solar system,” Massimino said. “When the moon moves between the sun and the earth, it obstructs the sun’s light from reaching the earth, casting a shadow on its surface and creating a solar eclipse. Seeing an eclipse is breathtaking and exhilarating, but it can be dangerous if you are not correctly protecting your eyes. Everyone should witness a solar eclipse, but, bottom line, you need to use protective eyewear.”

During the Oct. 14 annular solar eclipse, the moon will block the center of the sun creating a “ring of fire”. It will be visible in the U.S. starting in Oregon at 9:13 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time, ending in Texas at 12:03 p.m. Central Daylight Time. Its path will also cross over California, Nevada, Idaho, Utah, Arizona, Colorado and New Mexico. The next total solar eclipse in North America will occur across most of the U.S. on April 8, 2024. Another total solar eclipse won’t be seen again from the contiguous U.S. until 2045.

Prevent Blindness affiliates are providing unique programs and initiatives for local residents.

  • Prevent Blindness Texas has a variety of safe eclipse-viewing opportunities, including viewing parties and educational seminars, with adults, families and eyecare professionals. Tickets are now available for the Prevent Blindness Texas Solar Eclipse Viewing Party from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 14, at the Rooftop Cinema Club Uptown, Houston.
  • Prevent Blindness Ohio is seeking Solar Eclipse Safety Campaign sponsorships, which will include free solar eclipse glasses for sponsors to distribute to their employees, local schools or clients from other nonprofit organizations they support to use for viewing the April 8, 2024, solar eclipse.

Visit Prevent Blindness Eclipse + Your Eyes program, for eye safety tips and for eclipse glasses purchasing options, or contact [email protected].

Download a copy of the solar eclipse eye safety media release.