Protect your eyes during the solar eclipse

With the solar eclipse taking place on Monday, April 8, Public Health Sudbury & Districts is reminding everyone that looking directly at the sun without appropriate protection can lead to serious eye injury, including loss of vision. Children may not understand the risks of looking at the eclipse and should be supervised during the entire eclipse.

It is not safe to look at the eclipse without approved eye protection. Even looking at a small portion of the sun before, during, or after the eclipse without eye protection can harm your eyes and vision.

The solar eclipse will be visible in parts of Ontario between approximately 2 and 4:30 p.m. Sudbury and Manitoulin districts will experience a partial solar eclipse, with the peak coverage of the sun’s disk occurring at 3:19 p.m. in Sudbury.

How to protect your eyes during the eclipse:

  • Watching the eclipse online from a safe indoor space if possible. Many websites will have live streaming video. This could be a good option for children in your care to safely experience the eclipse.
  • Do not look at the sun without approved eye protection. Regular sunglasses will NOT protect your eyes. Windows in your home, workplace, or vehicle do not offer protection either.
  • If you choose to look directly at the eclipse, eclipse glasses that have specialized filters that meet the international standard ISO 12312-2 should be worn to prevent eye damage.
  • Do not use a pair of eclipse glasses if they are damaged. This includes making sure the lenses are not wrinkled or scratched. Damaged lenses will not protect you.
  • Make sure your eclipse glasses fully cover your field of vision.
  • Start by putting your glasses on while looking away from the sun. Once you have your glasses on properly, you can look at the eclipse. And, look away from the sun before taking your glasses off.
  • Do not look at the eclipse through a camera or phone lens, telescope, binoculars, or any other optical device.

Looking at the sun can injure your eyes in several ways, for example:

  • Burning your retina.
  • Blurring your vision.
  • Causing you to lose your sight immediately or over time.

You may not notice the eye injury or damage right away. It can take 12 to 48 hours to appear. If you look at the eclipse and experience blurred vision or any vision loss during or after the eclipse, speak to your eye care professional (for example, optometrist) or your health care provider as soon as possible.

If you don’t have proper, safe eye protection, you can make a simple eclipse box that will let you see the eclipse safely without looking at it directly (Canadian Space Agency). Agencies like NASA will also stream the eclipse live online.

For a video about how to stay safe while watching a solar eclipse, visit the Canadian Space Agency. For health advice in Ontario, dial 811 (TTY 1.866.797.0007) to speak with a registered nurse (Health811), or call Public Health Sudbury & Districts at 705.522.9200, ext. 464 (toll-free 1.866.522.9200) or visit

This item was last modified on April 5, 2024