4 min read
When you think of workplace injuries, back strain, knee pain immediately come to mind. However, every workplace presents certain risks to our eyes.
The risk of eye strain is a severe issue. Recent studies have shown at least 65% of working Americans today experience issues of digital eye strain. These problems can look like dry eyes, irritated eyes, or blurry vision or even increased nearsightedness.
Let's take a look at workplace eye wellness tips to keep you and your colleagues safe from eye strain.
Causes of Workplace Eye Injuries
Just what puts stress on our eyes, anyway? Today’s workplace may be safer than ever before, but it’s still filled with subtle hazards that put our eye health at risk.
Workplace eye wellness is frequently overlooked compared to preventing arthritis, back pain, or mental health burnout. As such, common issues crop up around the workplace only to be completely ignored. Some of the most frequent contributors to eye strain are:
Staring at a Monitor for Too Long
Your monitor is bright, harsh, and glaring. Staring at one for far too long will increase your risk for blurry vision, increased nearsightedness, and headaches.
Using Screens Too Much in General
It’s not just our computers workers should be concerned about. Many working Americans also sift through their smartphone, tablet, or home PC on a daily basis, with many only taking breaks from their computer screen to look at another screen!
Poor Eyeglasses or Lack of Sunglasses
People don’t just wear eyeglasses to improve their vision. They also use glasses to keep their vision from becoming worse.
Sunglasses are another tool that prevents harmful UV rays from further deteriorating vision.
[Related: 10 Tips for Sticking to Your New Year's Resolutions]
Risks to Office Workers
As you might have guessed already, the biggest eye health risk to office workers is eye strain resulting from screen use. The damage doesn't end there though. Eye strain can snowball into a series of other negative health effects.
Office workers who are struggling with digital eye strain will also report difficulties in other areas of their life including but not limited to:
- Difficulties sleeping
- Stiff neck
- Concentration issues
Tired muscles around the eyes? Oculax Patches might provide some relief.
The Effect of Blue Light
Blue lights are believed by today’s doctors to increase phototoxicity and retina damage.
Luckily, reduced blue light features are a function found on many smartphones and tablets today. Alternatively, you can also find glasses with blue light-blocking lenses.
WorkPlace Eye-Wellness Tips for Frontline Workers
While office workers face the risk of eye strain, front line workers face many more risks including dust, flying objects, chemical exposure and more. As a result, workplace safety is even more important in front line situations. Here are tips to protect the eyes of frontline workers.
Host General Safety Meetings and Create an Emergency Plan
Knowledge is the first step toward progress. Host monthly meetings on safety including eye wellness and ensure workers know how to use eyewash stations in roles with a risk of chemical exposure. You should also brief and test workers on the emergency plan should anyone suffer an injury on the job.
Install safety barriers around worksite equipment and ensure only designated employees use the equipment.
Use Equipment Properly and within Specified Guidelines
Leaders should read manuals and educate workers on how to use all workplace equipment properly. Those who handle hazardous substances should read the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) that the manufacturer supplies and comply with all instructions.
Provide and Wear Properly Fitting PPE
You should also frequently check that your equipment is in good working condition and make any necessary adjustments or repairs.
Long term, you can evaluate whether hazardous substances have safer alternatives. Keep dust and fumes at a minimum and maintain proper ventilation.
[Related: How to Take Care of Your Eyes and Symptoms to Watch Out For]
WorkPlace Eye-Wellness Tips for Office Workers
If you’re an office worker, you might think there's not much you can do since you need to look at a screen to do your job. However, this makes it especially important to do what you can. Here are a few workplace eye wellness tips to get you started.
Place Your Screen at an Optimal Distance
20 or so inches away from your eyes is a safe bet. Change your lighting or adjust your screen position away from direct light sources to avoid glare and harsh reflections.
Take Regular Eye Breaks and Be Gentle
Yes, your eyes need breaks, too! Try the 20-20-20 rule: every twenty minutes, look at an object across the room that’s twenty feet away for twenty seconds.
Also, be gentle with your eyes. Don’t rub them and use artificial tears if they get especially dry.
Get Regular Comprehensive Eye Examinations
You should get an eye exam once per year, especially if you work around computers a lot. Consider purchasing blue-light blocking glasses
Adequate hydration can make a big difference, especially during the winter months when heaters and furnaces can make the air particularly dry.
There are a few vitamins and nutrients that can aid in maintaining the health of the eyes. You'll want to make sure you're getting adequate amounts of Lutein, Vitamin A and Omega-3.
[Related: How Much Melatonin Should You Take]
While the eyes are often ignored when we think of workplace injuries, there are still certain dangers to them in every workplace. There are steps everyone can take to protect themselves. Some steps can protect from immediate danger while some are great for our long-term health. To provide the most essential vitamins and nutrients for eye health, we've developed Eye Care Essence.
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