Local libraries to give away eclipse glasses

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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO/KJCT)-- Thousands are expected to turn to the sky on Aug. 21 to witness a solar eclipse, but looking directly at the event can cause serious eye damage.

That's why Mesa County Public Libraries wants to make sure people have the best viewing experience of the solar eclipse. So they're giving away glasses where you can look directly at it.

Related: Click here to get the best view of the eclipse.

Optometrists said having a special set of glasses is crucial when trying to view the eclipse. Some compare it to taking a magnifying glass and holding it to burn a piece of paper.

"You're directing those light rays onto the very back of the surface of your eye and that heat will overheat that tissue and physically just damage it and it'll never recover so it's a permanent loss if you do it," said Steve Bathka, an optometrist at Valley Vision Center.

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