On October 14, 2023, most of Southern Canada will  witness a partial solar eclipse where the sun is partially blocked by the moon. While  eclipses can offer an exciting spectacle, they also pose potential risks to eyesight if proper  precautions are not taken.  

“Eclipses generate a lot of interest and we urge Canadians to enjoy the spectacle while  keeping their eyes safe. Children, being naturally curious, may need extra supervision  during eclipses. They might not fully comprehend the risks involved, so be sure to plan  

ahead and have approved solar eclipse viewers or alternative safe viewing methods on  hand” says CAO President Dr. Martin Spiro. 

The CAO urges Canadians to follow solar eclipse safety tips, to avoid any temporary or  permanent eye damage. 

1) Safety Focus: Ensure your eyes are protected at all times by using approved solar  eclipse viewers that meet international standard ISO 12312-2 for safe viewing.  2) The Right Stuff: Obtain viewers/filters from reputable sources to ensure  authenticity and to inspect them for any damage before use. Do not use homemade  filters like sunglasses, unfiltered cameras (including cell phone cameras), CDs, or  exposed film, as these do not provide sufficient protection against solar radiation. 3) Don’t Get Burned! Staring at the sun without protection may cause damage to your  retina (the tissue at the back of your eye) called “solar retinopathy.” This damage can  occur without any sensation of pain. The injury can be temporary or permanent.  Visit your optometrist immediately if an accident occurs.  

4) Go Indirect – Project: If you don’t have eclipse viewers, make a pinhole projector to  watch the eclipse. It’s important to only watch the screen, not the sun. Never look at  the sun through the pinhole. 

5) Web Watch: Check out the NASA/Exploratorium livestream and get the best view! 6) Check It Out: If you experience any problems with your eyes or vision after the  eclipse, see your optometrist promptly. 

Hold on to your eclipse glasses and pinhole projectors after October, because there is  another exciting eclipse event in 2024! There will be a total solar eclipse on April 8, 2024,  spanning from Southern Ontario to Newfoundland and Labrador, with the rest of Canada  experiencing a partial eclipse.  

About the Canadian Association of Optometrists  

The Canadian Association of Optometrists (CAO) is the national voice of optometry.  Optometrists are independent primary health care providers and represent the front line  of vision health. Optometrists practice in a range of settings: most work in private practice,  others work in clinics, hospitals, community health centres, corporate optometry, research,  teaching and administration. Recognized at home and internationally as a leading advocate  for the profession, CAO is dedicated to providing leadership and support to its +7,900  members (Optometrists, Students and Optometric Assistants) to enhance the delivery of  healthy eyes and clear vision for all Canadians. For more information, visit www.opto.ca

For media inquiries, please contact: 

Julie Vanghelder, Director, Communications & Marketing, jvanghelder@opto.ca