Is it safe to look at the sun when it’s obscured by smoke?

Is it okay to look at the sun when it’s obscured by smoke?
WATCH: Looking forward to checking out a smoky sun? Sarah Offin explains why optometrists say you should think twice.

Thick smoke has been giving the sun an orange red hue this week that some may find tempting to look at, especially with the beautiful sunrise and sunsets.

But is it safe to look at the sun when it’s obscured by all that heavy smoke?

READ MORE: Wildfire smoke is so thick in Prince George, it looks like night after the sun has risen

Experts say the sun can be equally as damaging to your eyes despite the smoky haze because most of the problems associated with eye damage from the sun are

from the UVA and UVB rays it emits, rather than the brightness of the sun itself.

Although the smoke particles in the air may be diminishing the brightness of the sun, experts say the ultraviolet light is unaffected.

“It can affect the front surface of the eye and the back,” optometrist Navroza Walji said. “On the front surface it can cause some damage on the white part of the eye and some bumps. On the back part of the eye it can cause macular degeneration and it can also lead to cataracts.”

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WATCH: Persistent smoke in Calgary affects people and animals

Optometrists advise making sure your sunglasses are rated to block both UVA and UVB rays. As well, they say to never look directly at the sun, no matter the conditions.