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home : community : community news August 16, 2017

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An example of the eclipse glasses being given away at the Rhinelander District  Library.
Submitted photo

An example of the eclipse glasses being given away at the Rhinelander District Library.
8/10/2017 7:28:00 AM
Rhinelander District Library giving away eclipse glasses
Optometrists warn eyes must be protected during eclipse

The Rhinelander District Library will be providing free solar eclipse glasses beginning Friday, Aug. 11.

"The library has 100 glasses to give away to adults and 100 glasses to give away to children," officials said in a press release. "One pair of glasses per person. First-come, first-serve. Once they are gone, the library will not be getting more."

The highly anticipated total solar eclipse will take place Monday, Aug. 21. It will begin around 11:50 a.m. with approximately 80 percent coverage happening around 1:20 p.m. The library will live-stream the NASA feed of the eclipse on the main floor via laptop and will project the archived footage of the eclipse in the lower level meeting room from 5-7:45 p.m. Those who can't make it to the library can stream the eclipse at:

Protect your eyes

Vision experts say it will be critical for Americans to protect their eyes during the eclipse.

"Looking at the sun, even for a short period, without proper protection can cause irreparable eye damage, even permanent eye vision loss," Dr. David P. Nelson, Madison area optometrist and current president of the Wisconsin Optometric Association (WOA) said in a press release. "Since Wisconsin is not an area that will experience complete coverage, wearing glasses specifically designed for eclipse viewing is critical."

Standard sunglasses, regardless of ultraviolet markings, including UVA and UVB, will not provide enough protection for eclipse viewing due to the intensity of the rays, the release states. The sun's rays may be partially blocked during an eclipse, but the remaining visible rays are still intense enough to cause serious eye damage or even loss of vision. "Eclipse glasses" should have an ISO 12312-2 marking on them to be considered safe for looking at the sun. These glasses should be closely inspected prior to use to ensure the solar filters are free of any scratches or damages. If imperfections are found, the glasses should be discarded. Binoculars, cameras and telescopes should not be used when viewing the eclipse, even if wearing eclipse glasses during use, as these devices can magnify the sun's rays and negate the effectiveness of the protective eyewear.

"Children should be closely monitored during the eclipse," explains Dr. Nelson. "Unlike the mature lens found in an adult eye, a child's lens cannot filter out UV rays as easily, causing damage to the child's retina. When children play outside, they are often excited and may remove their glasses or their glasses may fall off during activities."

Overexposure to the sun's rays can cause damage to both the front surface of the eye (photokeratitis) and the inside or back of the eye (solar retinopathy). Symptoms include eye pain, burning or red eyes, light sensitivity, blurred vision, difficulty in recognizing shapes, objects appearing distorted, headaches, watery eyes, and/or swelling around the eye or eyelid.

"If experiencing any post-exposure symptoms, medical attention should be sought immediately, especially if the condition is worsening with time," said Dr. Nelson. "Just as with a sunburn, delayed symptoms can also occur several hours after overexposure."

To find an optometrist in your area, visit

For more information on the library's eclipse glass giveaway, call 715-365-1070. or email ssteinbacher

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