How to tell if your solar eclipse glasses are real

Authentic solar eclipse glasses (Madeline Montgomery/WPDE)

Fake eclipse glasses are circulating online, and that could lead to real eye damage.

"How you stay safe is you used the approved solar eclipse glasses. These are actually 30,000 times darker than dark sunglasses," said Dr. Barbara Horn, the vice president of the American Optometric Association.

Related: No glasses? No problem. Eclipse viewing parties planned on the Grand Strand, Pee Dee

To make sure your glasses are real, there are several things to look for.

"They have an actual approval number, it's called the ISO number, and it should be listed on the glasses. If it's not they are not approved and you shouldn't use them," said Dr. Horn.

The glasses have to have the “ISO” Icon and must have ISO reference 12312-2.

Even if glasses have an ISO number, if they're wrinkled, damaged, or older than three years they aren't safe to wear.

"I think people think it's safe to look at the eclipse and it's not. Looking at the sun on a normal day is very damaging to the eyes and they actually can burn a hole in the layers in the back of the eyes called a solar retnopathy and you can blind yourself," said Dr. Horn.

Related: NASA warns of unsafe Total Solar Eclipse glasses being distributed

If you are looking for somewhere to buy safe glasses, Dr. Horn has a reliable resource.

"The American Optometric Association has a website,, and on the main page you can look up information to look up the sights that have these spectacles,the solar eclipse glasses that are approved with the ISO number on them," said Dr. Horn.

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off