People turning to welding lenses to view eclipse after special glasses sell out

KNOE 8 News
Published: Aug. 18, 2017 at 6:18 PM CDT
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With the eclipse approaching in just a few days, stores are all sold out of the special and safe viewing glasses. Which is causing welding shops in Monroe to sell out of their welding lenses. According to NASA, a shade 14 welding lens is the only lens adequate for looking at the eclipse.

The Shaw Oxygen and Monroe Welding shops are both running low on the lenses.

"We have sold out completely of [the 14 shades]," says Edward Shaw.

With this being the first eclipse since 1979, no one wants to miss it. Some people are even buying lower than the recommended shade 14 welding lens. According to NASA, it's safe to use as low as a shade 12.

Local eye doctors say you should be careful with what you use to view the eclipse. Doctor Jonathan Scogin says binoculars, telescopes, and cameras are all unsafe.

Scogin says using damaged glasses or the naked eye is risky.

"Because it can cause some serious danger to the back of the eye called the retina and it can cause solar maculopathy. it affects your central vision and a certain spot called the macula. Which is important for seeing faces or centered vision," Scogin says.

Scogin says the damage is permanent.

"Once it's been damaged, it's been damaged, there's no reversal at all," Scogin says.

If you or someone you know cannot find the special eclipse viewing glasses, the welding lenses are priced at $2 plus local taxes.