A solar eclipse is a glorious phenomenon; however, unless you choose to view an eclipse safely, staring at the sun can cause lasting damage to a person’s eyes. When you look at the sun, your eye becomes flooded with an excessive amount of ultraviolet light, resulting in what scientists call “solar retinopathy.” This means that the retinas inside your eyes can become overwhelmed and scarred, resulting in the loss of vision.
Historically, people have tried to find ways of looking at the sun while avoiding its damaging effects. As early as the 1600s, we know that King Louis XIV of France attempted to view the sun during an eclipse by placing a piece of smoked glass between his eye and a telescope. Using smoked glass remained a popular way to view solar events until the early 1900s. However, while this did reduce the harmful effects of viewing the sun directly, such methods ultimately failed to provide the protection necessary to ensure that lasting damage would be avoided.
The eclipse glasses sold today are made from black polymer, a substance which is significantly more effective in filtering out all of the ultraviolet light from the sun before it reaches your eyes. One scientist claimed that these glasses can reduce the brightness of the sun by a factor of 500,000. Most normal sunglasses only reduce the sun’s brightness by about five times!
While the ability to view an eclipse is a beautiful gift that God has blessed us with, there are also clear guidelines regarding how we should do this safely. Ignoring these protective guidelines might seem harmless and even bring momentary pleasure, but will in the end lead to pain and regret. Similarly, God wants us to experience the joy and fulfillment that come by living according to His commandments, as obedience to His will opens up for us new avenues of peace and beauty. This is why God told the Israelites to “be careful to obey all these regulations I am giving you, so that it may always go well with you and your children after you, because you will be doing what is good and right in the eyes of the LORD your God” (Deuteronomy 12:28). God’s commandments were never intended to hinder our enjoyment of life; rather it is only by observing them and surrendering in submission and repentance that our eyes are opened to the spiritual riches which Christ has prepared for us.
This article was written using information from the following source: http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/science/2017/08/a_history_of_eclipse_glasses_and_injuries.html