March is Workplace Eye Wellness Month, a month dedicated to promoting proper eye safety and care in the workplace. Before you think that this topic does not apply to you, think again! According to International Safety & Hygiene News (ISHN), in the U.S., each year, nearly 25,000 Americans visit the emergency room due to a workplace eye injury and more than 2000 workers injure their eyes on the job every single day, with roughly one out of every 10 of those injuries resulting in employees missing work in order to recuperate. Scary thought, right!
Even with these alarming statistics we understand many of our readers may still consider themselves at low risk for eye-related injuries if their workplace is in an office setting. When people think of work-related eye injuries, they often think of high risk jobs like construction, landscaping or factory workers being the most at risk; however, in our high-tech society, one of the most common vision problems is Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS). CVS, also called Digital Eye Strain, is a condition resulting from focusing the eyes on a computer screen or other digital device, such as a smartphone or tablet for extended, uninterrupted periods of time. These digital devices can cause headaches, blurry vision, eye fatigue, difficulty focusing, and Dry Eye Syndrome. Chances are most of us spend some portion of our work day and home life in front of a screen. Whether your workplace is in the field or in the office chances are you spend some portion of your day in front of a screen.
So, for those that have to spend prolonged hours in front of a screen here are some ways you can remedy vision strain:
POSITION IS EVERYTHING
Position your monitor so it is slightly below eye level and keep your computer roughly 28 inches away from your eyes.
UTILIZE THE 20/20/20 RULE
Take frequent breaks. We like the 20-20-20 rule. Every 20 minutes, take 20 seconds and focus your vision on something that is 20 feet away. Every hour take a 5 minute break to stretch and walk around.
REMEMBER TO BLINK
Remember to blink frequently and use artificial tears as needed. When working on a computer or any other electronic device for an extended amount of time, you tend to blink less often. Studies have shown that a computer user’s blink rate is reduced which exacerbates dry eye symptoms.
REGULAR EYE EXAMS
The first step in preventing computer vision syndrome is to schedule a regular eye examination. Eye exams are a great way to keep tabs on your eye health. Be sure to tell us if you use electronic devices as part of your daily work routine.
Prescribed eyewear specifically designed for computer use can help alleviate eye strain when using electronic devices. Ask us about custom digital office lenses.
Whether you spend hours behind the computer or use power tools at your job, it is always important to keep eye health and safety in mind and remember that even minor eye injuries can cause life-long vision problems. If you’ve been experiencing eye strain symptoms or think you might not be doing everything you can to protect your eyes from injury at work, just call us or stop by our Optical Boutique in Redfish Village in Blue Mountain Beach today! Together, we can get ahead of vision loss!
Protect Those Peepers!