Is it safe to use my prescription specs with my eclipse glasses?

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Stupid Internet! Nobody had this problem the last time we had a total solar eclipse.

We have been drowning in information, much of it useless, about today’s celestial event. We’ve had no end of warnings, all of which should be unnecessary, since anyone who’s spent five minutes on this planet should know not to stare at the sun. But we are a curious species, both in the sense of “strange” and “interested in novelties,” so we need the warnings.

And a lot of those warnings involve not looking at the phenomenon through lenses. You know, “Don’t look at the eclipse through a telescope,” etc.

So… what about my glasses? Can I look through them, with my special eclipse glasses over or under them?

Reasonable inference tells me that it’s safe. After all, there have been SO many warnings about unsafe practices, and anyone with any sense knows that people who need their prescription spectacles to see anything won’t be able to see the eclipse without them. So, you know, telling those millions of people it’s unsafe to do so, if it is, would be one of your very first important safety tips to share.

Still, reasonable surmise doesn’t seem enough where my eyesight is concerned. So I’d like a definite affirmative from an authoritative source: Yes, it’s OK to use your eclipse glasses with your regular glasses.

And surely someone out there has answered that question.

The trouble is, it’s a tricky question to ask clearly on a search engine. You end up repeating “glasses” in a confusing way. I tried being technical and saying, “Is it safe to wear prescription eyeglasses with eclipse glasses?”

But however I search, I only find one web page that seems to answer the question directly. (The second result Google offers in response to that query says, “No, You Can’t Use 3D Movie Glasses As Eclipse Glasses – Here’s Why,” a response so idiotic that it makes me want to slap somebody upside the head.)

But there is that one page, the first result, with the headline “Can I wear eclipse glasses over my regular eyeglasses …

Yes! Just what I need!

But every time I try to call it up, I get the above error message.

So… can anyone help me out her in the couple of hours we have left? Preferably, by giving me a link to an authoritative source?

If so, it will be appreciated…

6 thoughts on “Is it safe to use my prescription specs with my eclipse glasses?

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      Thanks! You know what? I had actually glanced at that page, but since I didn’t see my question in a headline or bold type, skimmed right past it. Because, you know, we expect instant answers these days.

      Likewise, I found the full-page graphic replacing the front page of The State today poorly thought-out.

      We know this is the day. So what would be the ONE piece of information that most people would be seeking in picking up the newspaper?

      Yes — the time of day of the eclipse. You’d want “2:41” in huge type, with smaller type just under it explaining that the partial starts a little over an hour before that, etc.

      The information was there (in a detailed chart about halfway down), but you had to hunt for it…

      eclipse graphic

      Reply
  1. Brad Warthen Post author

    I thanked a guy who gave me that same info on Twitter, and he responded:

    So I went out and tried it myself, and it was freaky. The sun was orange and the sky black.

    But after I did it, I had a little spot in my vision. Which is kind of freaking me out, because I tend to obsess about such things…

    Reply
  2. bud

    That question was answered about a billion times on the various tv broadcasts covering the event. Score one for tv news!

    Reply
  3. scout

    I did read that it was ok to put the eclipse glasses on the outside of your regular glasses. Then I forgot to do it for the first part of the partial. Looked much crisper when I did

    Reply

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