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Dr. Claus M. Fichte stands with the `Fichtemobile.` (Submitted photo)
Dr. Claus M. Fichte stands with the "Fichtemobile." (Submitted photo)

Safety key for optimal eclipse viewing

Thu, Apr 4th 2024 07:00 am

Monday will boast many distinct eclipse-viewing options across Western New York, with different happenings planned at each site. Regardless of the activity, organizers have one common goal: visual safety.

“What’s important to know is that eye protection is very important,” said Dr. Thomas R. Elmer, a board-certified ophthalmologist and physician at Fichte, Endl & Elmer Eyecare. “Normal sunglasses are great for protecting against ultraviolet light, but they won’t protect your eyes while directly viewing the sun. You must have certified eclipse glasses to view the sun safely during the eclipse. Permanent sun damage can occur without feeling any pain at all.”

Dr. Thomas R. Elmer holds an eye model. (Submitted photo)


Fichte, Endl & Elmer Eyecare will host a “Total Eclipse Party” from noon to 5 p.m. April 8 at its office at 6500 Porter Road.

Event organizers said, “Located in The Town of Niagara, it is the perfect viewing location for the event,” which will be highlighted by the solar eclipse at 3:20 p.m.”

This free family gathering will include a live band performing in the Fichte, Endl & Elmer Eyecare parking lot; llamas for children to see and pet; and the optical boutique will be open, so shop around for some sunglasses. In addition, there will be free parking, free solar eclipse glasses, and free hot dogs. Attendees are encouraged to bring chairs or a blanket.

Pre-event glasses are no longer available.

Dr. Michael J. Endl said, "We are so excited about the April 8 solar eclipse that we are throwing a party! Western New York is one of the lucky regions of the country that falls directly in the ‘path of totality.’ This means we will see the moon completely block out the sun for up to three minutes in the middle of the afternoon.

“Not only is this a phenomenon that hasn't happened in WNY for 99 years, it's also important for us to attempt to educate the public on eyewear for safe viewing. We will be passing out ISO-approved safety glasses at our free eclipse party. It is vitally important to your eyesight not to look at the eclipse without ISO-approved eyewear. If you do, you risk permanent retina injury resulting in decreased vision.”

Pictured in front of the “Fichtemobile” are, from left, Dr. Thomas R. Elmer, Dr. Michael J. Endl and Dr. Claus M. Fichte. (Submitted photo)

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