As students of optics, and as people who care passionately about helping others see better, we at Optique see a solar eclipse as an incredible event—not to be missed! And we bet you feel the same way. That’s why you are cordially invited to Optique’s Solar Eclipse Party, to be held on Monday, August 21 from noon to 3 p.m., in the parking lot at Optique Eye Care/Eye Wear, 2817 West End Avenue, Suite 117, Park Place Shopping Center, Nashville, TN 37203.

Solar-Themed Festivities and BIG Savings on Sunglasses!

Solar Eclipse Party 8-21 12-3Our FREE Solar Eclipse Party—which will stress SAFETY in viewing the eclipse—will be brimming with delightful fun for the entire family! Come out and celebrate the incredible solar-lunar phenomenon at a party chock-filled with sun-related foods, beverages, and music! Imagine mingling with your friends, neighbors, and fellow Nashvillians as you munch on SunChips® and moon pies … enjoy refreshing beverages from Sunkist … and chew Eclipse® gum … all as the parking lot “juke box” plays fun-filled, sun-filled tunes like “Walking on Sunshine”!

Need another great reason to attend? How about BIG SAVINGS ON SUNGLASSES? Everyone who purchases prescription or non-prescription sunglasses during the Solar Eclipse Party will receive a full 30 percent savings off your shades!

Protecting Your Eyes During
This Phenomenal Natural Event           

At Optique we are dedicated to protecting the safety and health of your eyes and eyesight, so our fun-filled Solar Eclipse Party will have a serious underlying purpose: safety and proper viewing of the solar eclipse. Specifically, here’s why:

Sun-gazing—or, in this case, solar-eclipse gazing—can result in a very serious injury to your eyes called Solar Retinopathy. This arises because of the very intense focusing of light onto your retina, all at once. Remember when you were a kid and used a magnifying glass to burn ants using the sun’s rays? Well, that’s what you are doing to your eyes when you improperly gaze at the sun during a solar eclipse. The resulting Solar Retinopathy can cause mild-to-moderate Visual Acuity Deficit and/or Central or Paracentral Scotomata (partially or entirely degenerated visual acuity).  So—long story short—improperly gazing at the sun during a solar eclipse is ABSOLUTELY NOT something you should do.

Safest Place in Nashville to Experience the Solar Eclipse

During the time frame of our Solar Eclipse Party, the entire United States will experience a solar eclipse. During that time, the moon will cover part or virtually ALL of the sun for two to three hours.

Halfway through that time period, anyone within a narrow path from Oregon to South Carolina will experience a brief total eclipse. The moon will completely block-out the sun for up to 2 minutes and 40 seconds. Day will turn into night, and—weather permitting—one of nature’s most amazing spectacles will become visible: You’ll be able to see the sun’s shimmering outer atmosphere, known as the corona.

The American Optometric Association, in partnership with the American Astronomical Society, has published detailed advice and guidance tips, so you can safely view the eclipse. (You can find that helpful information below and at the following link: https://www.aoa.org/patients-and-public/caring-for-your-vision/2017-solar-eclipse?)

Here at Optique, we are taking the AOA’s guidance a step further, by offering expert, in-person guidance to all partygoers, and by providing them with special solar-eclipse sunglasses (much darker than the usual ones).We’ll also ensure that all partygoers adhere to every other necessary precaution for safe eclipse viewing.

Please Attend If You Can …
But Here’s What To Do If You Can’t

My wife, Dr. Michele Sonsino, and I very much hope you can attend our Solar Eclipse Party on the 21st. We’d love to see you again, or meet you for the first time. But if, for whatever reason, you cannot attend, please be sure to adhere to the following solar-eclipse Safety Tips, as published by the American Astronomical Association (edited below for clarity and length):

  • To SAFELY look directly at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed sun, you MUST wear special-purpose solar filters, such as “eclipse glasses,” or handheld solar viewers. Homemade filters or ordinary sunglasses, even very dark ones, are NOT safe for looking at the sun.
  • If using your own solar filter, always inspect it before use. If scratched, punctured, torn, or otherwise damaged, discard it. Read and follow any instructions printed on or packaged with the filter.
  • Always supervise children using solar filters.
  • If you normally wear eyeglasses, keep them on. Put your eclipse glasses on over them, or hold your handheld viewer in front of them.
  • Stand still and cover your eyes with your eclipse glasses or solar viewer BEFORE looking up at the bright sun. After looking at the sun, turn away and remove your filter. Do NOT remove it while looking at the sun.
  • Do not look at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed sun through an unfiltered camera, telescope, binoculars, or other optical device.
  • Do not look at the sun through a camera, telescope, binoculars, or any other optical device while using your eclipse glasses or handheld solar viewer. The concentrated solar rays will damage the filter and enter your eye(s), causing serious injury.
  • Seek expert advice from an astronomer before using a solar filter with a camera, a telescope, binoculars, or any other optical device.
  • If you are within the path of total eclipse, remove your solar filter ONLY when the moon completely covers the sun’s bright face and it suddenly gets quite dark. Experience totality, then, as soon as the bright sun begins to reappear, replace your solar viewer to look at the remaining partial phases.

(SOURCE:  American Astronomical Association/National Science Foundation: https://eclipse.aas.org/eye-safety/safe-viewing)

About Dr. Jeffrey Sonsino

Dr. Sonsino is a diplomate in the Cornea, Contact Lenses, and Refractive Technologies section of the American Academy of Optometry (AAO). He is also immediate-past chairman of the American Optometric Association’s (AOA) Council on Cornea and Contact Lenses, a fellow of the Scleral Lens Education Society, and is on the advisory board of the GPLI. He recently was awarded the Practitioner of the Year by the GPLI and the Advocate of the Year by the American Optometric Association.

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