Columbia, SC (WLTX) - Don't look directly into the sun without proper eclipse glasses or you'll get permanent damage to your eyes.

We can't say it enough, so now we have an eye doctor telling you.

Dr. Wayne Cannon says that when the sun's rays hit the front of your eye, they travel through your eye ball and hits the part of the eye that controls your central vision , burining your retina.

"So when this is burned, it kills the tissu,e" explained Dr. Cannon. When the tissue is killed, he says it doesn't grow back and there's no treatment for that.

"We had three patients who stared at the sun and they lost partial vision," Dr. Cannon said that was from the last eclipse.

He said the right kind of glasses make a difference because regular sunglasses only controls the amount of light that goes into your eye. They don't have the filters eclipse glasses have that protect your eyes from the sun rays.

Watching it through a camera lens is also not a good idea.

The only time you don't need to wear the eclipse glasses is during totality, the time the sun is completely covered by the moon. In most parts of the Midlands, that will be a short time that will last from about one to 2 1/2 minutes, dependng on where you are.

"Air on the side of caution then on the side of being able to see if because afterwards you may not be able to see anything" said Dr. Cannon.

Don't forget: The South Carolina State Fair and WLTX will be offering a “totally” awesome tailgating experience during Columbia’s historic eclipse. For more details, go to the Total Eclipse Tailgate Page.