Press Releases

Friday, March 22, 2024

Highmark offers safety tips ahead of the solar eclipse

Buffalo, N.Y. (March 22, 2024) — Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield is offering helpful safety guidelines ahead of the solar eclipse, which will occur on April 8. The Buffalo region is in the direct path of totality, meaning those in the area will see the eclipse at 100 percent.

“Excitement for the solar eclipse is building. Our community especially, being in the direct path of totality, is eager to participate in viewing parties and witness such an incredible, unique natural phenomenon,” said Dr. Mark Perry, senior medical director, Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield. “However, without proper safety precautions, it can cause serious, sometimes permanent, eye injuries and impact a person’s overall health, so we urge everyone to learn how to view the solar eclipse safely.”

Highmark offers the following guidance when preparing to view the solar eclipse:

  • Do not use regular sunglasses to view the eclipse. If you plan to watch the total or partial eclipse, purchase solar glasses that meet the safety requirement of the ISO 12312-2 international standard, supported by the American Astronomical Society.
  • Do not watch through a phone camera. Watching the eclipse through a cell phone camera, camera lens, binoculars or other recording devices can magnify the UV light and can cause further damage to the retina.
  • Be cautious of children. While children's eyes are more vulnerable to sun damage, they can still enjoy the eclipse by wearing protective glasses.
  • Speak with your doctor. If you have prior eye conditions, speak with your doctor to understand if you should sit this one out.

For patients who experience prolonged redness, watery eyes, eye pain, blurred vision, or sensitivity to light after watching the solar eclipse, Dr. Perry recommends contacting your eye doctor to assess for damage of the ocular tissues.

Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield is presenting sponsor of Buffalo State University’s Eclipse Fest, with educational and safe viewing options for the community to participate in. Additionally, there are options for safe viewing of the solar eclipse at Highmark Stadium and Canalside.  

About Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield
Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield is a trade name of Highmark Western and Northeastern New York Inc., an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. Since 1936, Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield has helped millions of people lead healthier lives. Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield offers a full range of insured, self-insured, and government programs and services covering businesses, families, and individuals, as well as dental and vision plans and stop-loss coverage. Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield serves as a key economic driver in the regio, and as a community-based, not-for-profit health plan, contributes significantly to organizations that strengthen and enrich the health of the community.

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Amber M. Hartmann