NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – Health officials in New Mexico continue to stress the importance of protecting your eyes during Saturday’s annual solar eclipse.

The New Mexico Department of Health is among several organizations urging people to use expert-approved solar eclipse glasses that are labeled with the ISO 12312-2 standard to view the eclipse. People can also use certified eclipse viewers or make a pinhole projector.

Solar Eclipse:

Exposing your eyes to the sun without proper eye protection during a solar eclipse can cause “eclipse blindness” or retinal burns. This damage can be temporary or permanent and occurs with no pain.

It can take a few hours to a few days after viewing the solar eclipse to realize the damage has occurred. Symptoms include loss of central vision, distorted vision and altered color vision. If you notice symptoms after viewing a solar eclipse, seek treatment from an eye care professional immediately.