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Viewing the solar eclipse the right way in New Brunswick


With less than two weeks until the solar eclipse, Ben Stevens has sold over 100 ISO approved solar eclipse glasses in the Greater Moncton area.

“We actually are almost sold out, we’ve got about 30 left,” said Stevens, the owner of local business Ever After Acres.

This product is above and beyond what his business typically focuses on, but with his entire family interested in all things space, they’ve been selling glasses for about a year now.

“Early on when we were selling them, we didn’t sell hardly any but it was almost education more than anything,” he said.

“People were like ‘oh I didn’t know that was happening’ and other people would ask ‘oh what do you need the glasses for’ and so just educating them on the fact that you can’t just look up at it because it’ll damage your eyes, just like any day when the sun is out.”

With safety at the forefront, Stevens ordered a specific brand of glasses based on an article that he read through NASA.

“We just wanted to make sure that people were doing it in a safe way and able to enjoy it and we even tell people when we deliver them, make sure there’s no scratches or no cracks in them,” he said.

Excitement is building throughout the Maritimes, but with it, comes a strong message from the New Brunswick Association of Optometrists: don’t look at the sun without certified eclipse glasses.

“We worry about counter fit eclipse glasses. The ones that we recommend have to have a certification identification number: ISO 12312-2,” said optometrist and the president of the New Brunswick Association of Optometrists, Dr. Alexis Keeling.

Adding, “what happens is you can burn the inside back of the eye in a particular place called the macula and there’s no pain receptors in the back of the eye so that damage is done and you don’t realize it for about 24 hours later when the vision begins to become disturbed and that can leave people with permeant blindness.”

She says while larger pupils can have an impact, in general, everybody has the same amount of risk and it can take a matter of just 30 seconds to have that damage occur.

“Don’t sit there, don’t glance at the sun, don’t keep looking about at it because it is additive as well,” she said.

“You need to protect your eyes with specialized solarized eclipse glasses. They’re made of aluminized polyester, they are about 200x darker than sunglasses, sunglasses do not count, if you were to put these on, you can’t see anything it looks like a blindfold.”

Overall, she says the goal is not to scare the public, but to educate and prevent any irreversible damage that could occur by not wearing solar eclipse glasses at all or not wearing certified ones.

Keeling says that New Brunswick optometrists were given 200 pairs each to give out within their community and glasses can be purchased as well as long as you check that they will keep you safe.

However, if you don’t plan to look directly into the sky, April 8th will be just another day for people who work, walk and hangout outside.

The eclipse is also not supposed to impact pets at all.

For more New Brunswick news visit our dedicated provincial page. Top Stories

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