Viewing of rare natural phenomenon could prove dangerous if precautions aren’t taken

Indianapolis, Aug. 10, 2017 – On Monday, August 21, 2017, a brief solar eclipse will be visible beginning noon Eastern Daylight Time across North America when the moon blocks the sun for approximately 2 minutes 40 seconds, in which the otherwise hidden solar corona, or outer atmosphere, will be made visible.

This will be the first solar eclipse over the U.S. mainland since 1979 and the first to cross from coast to coast since 1918. Indianapolis will not experience a total eclipse, so viewing the sun directly during this time will be unsafe and could burn the delicate structures of the eye.

The only safe way to view the eclipse is through special purpose solar filters meeting ISO standards 12312-2:2015. Homemade filters and even dark sunglasses are not safe for looking at the sun. Do not look with cameras, binoculars, or other optical devices as the concentrated rays can enter the eye causing serious injury. An alternate method for safe viewing is pinhole projection. Information on how to safely make a pinhole projection for viewing can be found online.

“Viewing an eclipse of this magnitude is a once in a lifetime experience for many people, but we should also remember that sunlight can cause cataracts, macular degeneration and damage to our skin,” said Dr. Brian Walborn, an Eskenazi Health optometrist. “Safe viewing habits will minimize these risks.”

Eskenazi Health offers comprehensive eye care services to help patients improve and protect their vision. Many vision-threatening diseases, if detected early, can be cured or treated to prevent or slow the progression of vision loss.

Eskenazi Health optometrists and ophthalmologists are trained to deal with the entire spectrum of eye conditions, ranging from serious diseases such as glaucoma or retinal detachment to less serious conditions like dry eye or the need for glasses. For more information, please contact Eskenazi Health Eye Care at 317.880.8800.

For more information regarding the solar eclipse, visit NASA’s website at or the American Optometric Association at


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For nearly 160 years, Eskenazi Health has provided high-quality, cost-effective, patient-centered health care to the residents of Marion County and Central Indiana. Accredited by The Joint Commission, nationally recognized programs include a Level I trauma center, regional burn center, comprehensive senior care program, women’s and children’s services, teen and adolescent care programs, Eskenazi Health Midtown Community Mental Health, and a network of primary care sites located throughout the neighborhoods of Indianapolis known as Eskenazi Health Center. In partnership with the Regenstrief Institute, Eskenazi Health conducts groundbreaking work that informs health information technology around the globe. Eskenazi Health also serves as the sponsoring hospital for Indianapolis Emergency Medical Services. As the public hospital division of the Health and Hospital Corporation of Marion County (HHC), Eskenazi Health partners with the Indiana University School of Medicine whose physicians provide a comprehensive range of primary and specialty care services. In December 2013, Eskenazi Health moved to its new main campus and opened the brand new Sidney & Lois Eskenazi Hospital. The new modern and efficient facility is Central Indiana’s first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) Gold health care campus and offers unique features like a one-of-a-kind sky farm and extensive art collection. The Eskenazi Health Foundation was the recipient of $40 million gift from Indianapolis couple Sidney and Lois Eskenazi to assist with building the brand new hospital facilities. HHC recognized this generous gift by naming the new hospital and health system in the Eskenazis’ honor.

CONTACT: Tom Surber
Phone: 317.880.4793
Cell: 317.402.9327
Pager: 317.310.5972

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