How to keep your eyes protected, avoid scams during solar eclipse

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(Credit: CNN) (Credit: CNN)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

The Aug. 21 solar eclipse has likely been the topic of discussion at your child’s school and your office, but the most important thing to know about the phenomenon is how to view it in the safest possible way.

Wearing the proper glasses will be the key in experiencing a sight you will never forget on Aug. 21.

[SPECIAL SECTION: Total solar eclipse 2017]

Staring into direct sunlight with no eye protection or with the wrong ones can severely damage your eyesight, per health experts. And the solar eclipse is special in that standard sunglasses will not provide you with the proper protection.

There are several locations around the Valley where you can get solar eclipse glasses for either free or only a few dollars.

[Click here for information from NASA about reputable vendors of solar filters and viewers]

The Midwestern University Eye Institute in Glendale ordered 2,000 eclipse-viewing glasses to give out for free starting Tuesday. Anyone wanting a pair of the glasses can pick them at 5865 West Utopia Road in Glendale.

While many large retail stores do sell the glasses, most local stores are running out. Be sure to call your nearest location before heading out to buy a pair.

You may also purchase the glasses on Amazon, but be sure to buy only ISO-compliant glasses directly sold by Amazon. Consumers are urged to be very wary of third-party vendors online that claim to be ISO-certified.

[RELATED: How to avoid buying "bogus" solar eclipse glasses]

If you are unable to find a store or location near you that carries the glasses, you can also use any pair of glasses that is dark enough that you cannot make out the images in front of you.

Anyone planning to watch the solar eclipse is also advised not to take photos with their phones or standard cameras, as the sun’s rays can damage the lenses. 

[RELATED: Majestic places to view solar eclipse in AZ]

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