How to watch the solar eclipse safely

MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - We're just a little more than a week away from a total solar eclipse. People across the United States are ready to watch, but it's important to do so safely.

Optometrists at Primary Eyecare and Optical say just like staring directly into the sun can hurt your eyes on a regular day, it can also cause damage during an eclipse. The sun can harm your macula, causing permanent damage.

"There's really not a whole lot of things we can do with a damaged macula," Dr. Minh Duong says. "Once the macula is damaged from the solar rays, you start losing vision, and you'll see like a black spot in the center of your vision."

The best way to watch safely is by using a pair of eclipse glasses. But Dr. Duong says you need to make sure those glasses are ISO certified. The eclipse will pass our area around 1:30 p.m. on Aug. 21.