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Year : 1982  |  Volume : 30  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 303-304

Solar eclipse 1980-its ophthalmic effects

Hyderabad Eye Clinic, Hyderabad, India

Correspondence Address:
Arun Kabra
6-3-907/1, Somajiguda Hyderabad 500 482
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 7166410

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How to cite this article:
Kabra A. Solar eclipse 1980-its ophthalmic effects. Indian J Ophthalmol 1982;30:303-4

How to cite this URL:
Kabra A. Solar eclipse 1980-its ophthalmic effects. Indian J Ophthalmol [serial online] 1982 [cited 2023 Feb 1];30:303-4. Available from: https://www.ijo.in/text.asp?1982/30/4/303/29456

Table 4

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Table 4

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Table 3

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Table 3

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Table 2

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Table 2

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Table 1

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Table 1

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Looking at sun directly without protection can bring about number of ophthalmic mani­festations, some temporary and some permanent, Out of the permanent damage burn to the macular area of retina is most disturbing. Dur­ing eclipse time the chances of retinal burn is more and number of cases has been recorded in the past.

On February 16th, 1980, Hyderabad and its surrounding areas witnessed total to near total sun eclipse and a study was carried out in those who feared of sustaining injury to the eyes by seeing the sun during the period of eclipse. This paper deals with this study,

  Materials and methods Top

Through all the newspapers in the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad, the public were informed that those who fear having damaged the eyes by watching sun eclipse indi­rectly or directly, intentionally or accidentally can come to the Hyderabad Eye Clinic for free examination on the day of the eclipse or with­in next few days.

When they presented for the examination, documentation and examination was carried out as follows :­

Name, Age, Sex, Religion, Occupation, prior knowledge of the possible damage, method of watching, duration of watching and eye used, previous eye trouble, and symptoms were noted, Visual acuity (V.A.) was recorded by Snellens or Landolts chart at 6 meters for each eye and with spectacles if worn. When V.A. was found to be less than 6/6, pin hole test was done and VA recorded to see if the impaired VA is due to refractive error. Anteri­or segment examination including conjunctiva and cornea was done by slit lamp biomi­croscopy. Fluorescein staining of cornea was done whenever indicated. Amsler grid test was done for each eye to find central or para central visual disturbance. Posterior segment was examined after dilation of pupil by direct and binocular Indirect ophthalmoscopy in all the patients. Goldman's three mirror contact lens examination was done when necessary. Fluoroscein angioscopy was carried out in selective patients to study macular area.

Cases were followed up at 3 weeks and 6 weeks interval whenever indicated and again full examination was carried out.

  Observations and discussion Top

42 cases (84 eyes) were examined in this study from the day of eclipse (16th February 1980) till 4th March 1980, 34 attending within the first three days. Age, Sex, Religion and occupation of these are as per [Table - 1][Table - 2]. All but one knew that watching eclipse can damage their eyes. Method and duration of watching eclipse is as per [Table - 3]. 6 cases did not watch the sun at all but had looked at the open surrounding. 34 cases used both eyes to watch and only 8 used right eye. Symptoms of these cases are as per [Table - 4]. In 72 eyes the visual acuity (VA) was 6/6 or better. 6/9 or less was in 12 eyes, out of which 6 improved with Pin hole test. Out of the other 6 eyes not improving with pin hole test, 2 eyes were amblyopic, one had optic atrophy, one had old chorio-retinal degeneration and 2 eyes (one person) had macular involvement due to eclipse. 2 eyes (2 persons) even improving on Pin hole test had doubtful macular appearance, but on Fluoroscein angioscopy no leakage of dye or other abnormality was seen. The one who had macular involvement also had marked photophobia with superficial punctate kerati­tis in both eyes. He did not agree to have fluoroscein angioscopy, neither he came for subsequent follow ups.

  Summary Top

42 cases who feared of having damaged their eyes on 16th February 1980, by watching total solar eclipse in Hyderabad area were studied. Only one case had superficial punctate keratitis with macular involvement.

  Acknowledgement Top

My thanks are due to my wife and Mr. Sajid Ali who helped me to complete this in teresting study. My thanks are also due to the various daily newspapers for their cooperation.


  [Table - 1], [Table - 2], [Table - 3], [Table - 4]


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