March Forward With Workplace Eye Safety
Spring is a great time to get outside, but don’t let all the play make you too tired to remember eye safety at work. The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) says 300,000 Americans visit the emergency room each year due to workplace eye injury. In fact, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) puts money behind it; they report that workplace eye injuries cost an estimated $300 million in lost productivity, medical treatment and workers’ compensation.
Eye safety is particularly important in manufacturing and construction environments where workers deal with flying objects (bits of glass, metal, wood), particles, chemicals and work with complex equipment and tools. To avoid these hazards and ensure workplace safety, you are encouraged to use proper procedures and wear protective eye gear such as safety goggles, helmets and face shields. Mann Eye Institute carries a variety of safety glasses at all their optical locations. If your glasses have made it a hassle to wear safety equipment, we also offer LASIK vision correction. Should an eye injury occur, do not attempt to treat it yourself.
In other industries such as healthcare, education and daycare, workers face an increased risk of developing certain infections, including pink eye (conjunctivitis). Preventative measures include frequently washing your hands and wearing proper protective gloves or eyewear. For viral pink eye, you can relieve irritating symptoms through remedies such as applying warm or cool compresses to closed eyelids. You can also use eye drops containing antihistamines, decongestants or both. For conjunctivitis caused by bacteria, topical antibiotics are often the answer. If you have pink eye or an infection for an extended period of time, you should visit your Mann Eye Institute ophthalmologist for immediate care.
Protect Your Eyes in the Office
Keeping eyes safe at work (and play) includes at your desktop and on your smartphone (eye phone!). According to The Vision Council, over 60% of Americans report symptoms of digital eye strain, which may include blurriness, redness, fatigue, dry eye, headache and neck and shoulder stress. There are steps you can take to reduce risk of digital eye strain, also known as computer vision syndrome (CVS).
- Follow the “20-20-20 rule”—take a 20-second break from the screen every 20 minutes and look at an object 20 feet away.
- Use proper lighting; one way is to reduce overhead lighting to eliminate screen glare.
- Adjust computer display settings: increase text size and contrast for comfort, and adjust brightness of the display so it’s close to the same brightness of your surroundings.
- Position your screen approximately 30 inches away—about an arm’s distance—from eye level for proper viewing distance when at a computer.
- Blink more often.
- Take a few 5-minute mini breaks throughout the day.
- Talk to your Mann Institute Eye doctor about getting computer glasses; usually these are lenses with anti-reflective (AR) coating which reduces glare.
One of the most important things you can do to combat computer vision problems is to have a routine comprehensive eye exam at Mann Eye Institute. If you experience persistent blurred vision, you may be eligible for blade-free all-laser LASIK which can correct refractive errors such as nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism.
At Mann Eye Institute we want you to See Life Better. We are at the forefront of research and development in comprehensive eye care, including prevention and treatment. Schedule an appointment today for a free consultation if you have any questions about keeping your eyes safe at work.