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News Tip: Duke Expert Explains How to Protect Eyes During Solar Eclipse


Sarah Avery
Sarah Avery
919-724-5343 Email

Lejla Vajzovic, M.D., assistant professor in the Department of Ophthalmology at Duke University School of Medicine, is a vitreoretinal surgeon with expertise in pediatric and adult retinal diseases.

Quote: “Any time you stare at the sun, you risk damaging your eyes, because the sun causes a physical burn at the back of the eye. The retina is essentially an extension of the brain, and it’s made up of very thin cells, and when you stare at the sun, this can burn those sensitive cells. The damage might not be immediate – you could stare at the sun and your vision might seem fine for the rest of the day – but then the next morning awake and be shocked that your eyesight is impaired or even gone.”

Quote: “Not even high-quality sunglasses are very dark lenses are adequate to protect your eyes if you want to view the eclipse. The only ‘eclipse glasses’ sufficient for viewing this event include special-purpose solar filters. They must meet a very specific worldwide standard known as ISO 12312-2 (international safety standard), and any eyewear purchased for viewing the eclipse must have this designation.”

Bio: Lejla Vajzovic joined Duke six years ago and is co-director of the Duke Pediatric Retina and Optic Nerve Center, with specific expertise and interest in advanced pediatric retinal surgery and the director of the Duke Center for Artificial and Regenerative Vision, where she leads the Duke Eye Center’s surgical efforts to restore vision to people with total blindness.

Media Contact: Sarah Avery (919) 660-1306;


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