Eye Safety at Work
March is Workplace Eye Wellness Month!
According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, nearly 25,000 Americans visit the emergency room due to a workplace eye injury each year. Don’t become one of them - if you work in a potentially dangerous environment, be sure to take precaution and protect your vision!
The best way to do so is by wearing appropriate eye protection. This may include eye goggles if you work in an environment with chemicals or particles that can get into your eye. Dangerous jobs such as construction, welding, maintenance, mining, and more can harm your vision. Dirt, dust, pollen, metal and wood from your work environment can irritate or get stuck in your eyes and cause long-lasting damage. If you do get something in your eye, be sure to rinse your eyes with saline and schedule an appointment with your eye doctor!
When it comes to safe options for glasses in these workplaces, polycarbonate lenses are typically seen as the gold standard. These lenses are lightweight but made of a much sturdier material than typical eyeglass lenses, making them comfortable to wear while still great for protecting your eyes. They are built to withstand impact and are 10 times stronger than glass or regular plastic. These lenses can also be customized to have UV protection and scratch resistance.
If you work with computers, the best way to protect your vision is by wearing glasses designed for extended computer use, such as Workspace lenses. These glasses are specifically designed to account for the optimal computer distance and have a wider viewing area for best comfort and vision. For these employees, it is also recommended by the American Academy of Ophthalmology that you follow the 20-20-20 rule: Every 20 minutes, look away from your screen and look at an object 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds. We tend to blink less while staring at a computer, so taking these breaks will help to alleviate and prevent dry eye discomfort.
Additionally, your monitor should be at a comfortable height and distance - typically, an arm’s length away. You should not need to twist or bend your head or neck in order to look at the screen. Following these rules will help to prevent eye strain and minimize your discomfort!
Some other main ways to save your vision outside of work include:
Replacing old makeup regularly and always removing makeup before bed
Protecting your eyes from UV (even when it’s not sunny out!)
Yearly routine vision exams