RAWALPINDI: Looking directly at the solar eclipse could irreversibly damage eyesight and people should even avoid doing so while wearing protective glasses, the chief consultant at Al Shifa Trust Eye Hospital, Dr. Nadeem Qureshi, said on Saturday.
Pakistan will witness a solar eclipse today (Sunday), and doctors and scientists have advised that people avoid looking at the solar eclipse with or without protective eyewear due to the ultraviolet rays emitted during peak summer.
Dr. Qureshi said this eclipse is being called the Ring of Fire, as the moon appears directly over the sun and the halo it will create will emit intense light.
He said it is very important to keep eyes protected during this time, as the intense light emitted will transmit far too much sunlight and could cause serious injury to the eyes according to the American Astronomical Society’s website.
He said the public should take precautions for themselves and their children.
Dr. Qureshi said ultraviolet rays can cause severe and permanent damage to the eyes by causing a burn on the central part of the retina. People are advised not to go outside during the solar eclipse and not to look directly at the sun, even when wearing protective glasses.
Dr. Quresihi said that people should restrict children to their homes and, if necessary to go out, wear UV-blocking sunglasses, and a hat as protection.
Doctors from other parts of the country are turning to social media to disseminate similar messages.
Charitable Eye Hospital Prevention of Blindness Trust Chairman Dr Misbahul Aziz from Karachi said that a partial or complete view of the solar eclipse would damage sensitive parts of the human eye.
He said that the number of patients, particularly children, increases after solar eclipses every year as children try to look at the ‘Ring of Fire’.