Eclipse eyewear: Don't get burned by scammers

The solar eclipse is happening Monday, August 21.
The solar eclipse is happening Monday, August 21. (Copyright by WSLS - All rights reserved)

(WCNC) – If you plan on looking up at the upcoming total solar eclipse, sunglasses won't cut it. You'll need special eclipse glasses.

The American Astronomical Society is warning that scammers are taking advantage of the total eclipse craze.

They say phony glasses are flooding the marketplace, alleging even websites like Amazon have fallen victim to fakes.

The consequences for picking the wrong pair could be devastating, causing solar retinopathy and blindness.

"Unfortunately, the damage to the nerves and the tissue which is the retina tends to be permanent," said Dr. Omar Punjabi, a Charlotte board-certified ophthalmologist.

NASA officials say only these five manufacturers that sell certified, approved eclipse glasses:

o Baader Planetarium
o Rainbow Symphony
o Thousand Oaks Optical
o TSE 17
o American Paper Optics

Also make sure your glasses have the ISO number 12312-2 printed on them (although the fakes will sometimes go as far as to print this number).

The manufacturer name and address should also be printed on the glasses--be sure it's one of the five NASA recommends.

Read more here.