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What to do with eclipse glasses

Now that the solar eclipse is over, what should you do with your glasses?
Now that the solar eclipse is over, what should you do with your glasses?
Posted at 5:08 PM, Aug 22, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-23 03:55:58-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) - Monday's Great American Eclipse caught the eyes of thousands in the Big Bend.

The weather phenomenon could only be seen safely with specially designed glasses -- but now that it's over, what should you do with them?

From Valdosta to Tallahassee, the solar eclipse was a shining moment to remember.

"It was actually almost a quiet awe outside," said Christine Amrhein with the Challenger Learning Center of Tallahassee. "Everyone was standing and looking up."

A thousand people flocked to Kleman Plaza and the Challenger Learning Center: 500 pairs of special glasses handed out to witness history.

"Strangers holding glasses for children on the ground, trying to point out and explain what was going on," Amrhein said. "It was a really neat experience."

What can you do with the glasses? One option is to give the glasses to a group that will put them to good use.

In 2019, a solar eclipse will pass over parts of South America and Asia.

"If you save yours, the Astronomers Without Borders group is collecting them, and they'll be shipping them there," said Amrhein.

And for those who may have looked at the sun without glasses, even for a second, there may be some concern.

"We are starting to get visits from people who are worried," said Sarah Ko, M.D., an ophthalmologist at the Eye Associates of Tallahassee. "Luckily so far, I think the visits are more 'worry' than 'true disease.'"

Ko says the retina in the eye could burn from direct exposure to sunlight.

"So, if you do notice a blind spot or blurred vision, it's important to get an eye exam to see if it is something that is treatable and can be fixed," she said.

That's why the glasses are so important. The frames can be recycled with cardboard, and the lenses can be recycled with camera film.

Or you could just keep them handy for the next solar eclipse -- but that could take a while.