WORKPLACE EYE SAFETY
March is National Workplace Eye Wellness month. While there are many jobs with a higher probability of eye injury, there are just as many occupations that people may not think about which can also be hard on your eyes.
When we think of jobs that can be dangerous to your eyes, the most common images that come to mind are those such as, contractors, construction workers, laborers, metal workers etc. We also want to stress that there are also many white collar jobs that can have negative effects on your eyes. Jobs that require spending a lot of time in front of a computer or where you are exposed to high levels of light. These occupations can include: computer programmers, call center workers and pilots to name a few.
Workplace eye safety is focused on the overall health of your eyes. Foreign debris entering the eye is the most obvious injury. Less common injuries often go overlooked. We want to take the time to shed some light on various types of career paths to help you to prevent discomfort and eye strain when you are at work.
Fortunately in today’s workplace, safety is often the number one concern in the construction trades. Companies require you to wear the proper safety glasses and provide them to employees for these types of jobs where there is a possible risk of having debris get into your eyes. Be sure to wear them correctly and replace them if they become damaged. If you do happen to have a piece of foreign debris enter your eye, seek medical attention immediately to help reduce the chances worsening the eye injury.
Many people who work at a computer all day are those who will most commonly experience eye strain. This occurs when your eyes become very tired or irritated from focusing on one thing such as a computer screen, or TV for a very long period of time. To help reduce eye strain, give your eyes a break every now and then, take some time to look away and by adding a short walk when you’re taking a break is also good exercise.
The last type of eye injury that we want to discuss is damage from the sun. As we have discussed when we talk about snow blindness, long term effects from increased sun exposure include the development of glaucoma or cataracts. You may be at an increased risk for this type of injury if you are a pilot, fisherman, boat captain or crewmember, lifeguard, etc. It is important that if you have a job with increased exposure to the sun that you get proper eye protection that blocks out as much of the UV rays as possible. This will help reduce the chances of long term damage to your eyes.
Whatever you job is, be sure that you take the time to take care of your eyes. Preventing excessive eye strain, wearing the proper safety glasses or sun glasses is imperative to help keep your eyes healthy and happy.
About the author: John D. Bissell, owner of Bissell Eye Care and Tri-State Low Vision Services, offers comprehensive eye examinations for the entire family, ocular disease detection and treatment, eye glasses, sun glasses, active wear, contact lenses, and low vision examinations for those with significant vision loss. He has undergone specialized training for treatment of low vision by the International Academy of Low Vision Specialists utilizing customized telescopic eyeglasses, prisms and telescopic implants for patients who qualify. The practice accepts most types of vision and health insurance plans.