Whether your job requires you to work in a warehouse or to sit in front of a computer all day, your workplace can be hazardous to your eyes. No matter your profession, it is important to protect the health of your eyes!
Keep reading to learn more about how to protect your eyes during Workplace Eye Wellness Month!
What is Workplace Eye Wellness Month?
With an estimated 2,000 Americans suffering from eye injuries in the workplace every day, March has been designated as Workplace Eye Wellness Month. Eye health organizations, including the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the American Optometric Association, and Prevent Blindness, all encourage workers to take this month to consider the health of their eyes in their workplaces.
As more and more working adults spend their days staring at a computer screen, the incidence of digital eye strain has increased. Digital eye strain can cause symptoms like headaches, eyestrain, dry eyes, blurred vision, and chronic neck and shoulder pain.
If you work in front of a computer and are suffering from any of these symptoms, there are steps you can take to protect your eyes and your vision. These steps include:
- Wearing special glasses with blue light-blocking technology
- Positioning your computer screen to reduce glare
- Using an anti-glare screen filter
- Using a monitor with a curved screen rather than a flat screen
- Taking regular breaks
- Practice the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, look at an object at least 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds
- Ensuring your workspace has adequate lighting
- Blinking regularly
Working in front of a computer is not the only job requiring awareness of eye wellness in the workplace. If you have a job that requires you to be around heavy machinery, caustic chemicals, or excessively bright lights, it is equally important that your eyes are protected.
The hazards of workplaces with these conditions can be the cause of serious eye injuries. Excessive dust or small splinters of wood or metal can enter the eye, causing damage to the retina or scratching of the cornea.
Professionals who work with dangerous chemicals, like cleaning personnel or medical staff, are at a higher risk for eye damage from chemical burns. Workers who spend their days working outside can have inadvertent damage to their vision from excessive sun exposure.
How to Best Protect Your Eyes in the Workplace
The best way to protect your eyes if you work in one of these occupations is to wear protective eyewear at all times! The use of OSHA-recommended and approved goggles, safety glasses with side protection, face shields, hard hats with visors, and sunglasses can reduce the occurrence or severity of up to 90% of eye injuries in the workplace.
There are other steps that workers can take to prevent eye injuries in the workplace, which include:
- Knowing workplace hazards
- Asking employers to conduct yearly workplace eye safety assessments
- Choosing the right type of eye protection for the job
- Regularly inspecting protective gear for signs of fitness, damage, or excessive wear
- Ensuring employers have installed mandatory eye wash stations in workplaces with hazardous chemicals
- Working for employers who provide regular vision screenings for the employees
When considering workplace eye wellness, it is helpful to think of this slogan: “Begin with safe eyes, finish with safe eyes.” The health of your vision should not be compromised by your workplace.
Observing Workplace Eye Wellness Month is the perfect opportunity to ensure your eyes are protected as you work!
Are you experiencing signs of eye problems in your workplace? Schedule an appointment at Shepherd Eye Center at one of our 5 locations in Las Vegas or Henderson, NV, today with one of our experienced eye care providers!