Every day across the U.S., more than 2,000 people suffer a job-related eye injury. Of these people, 1 in 10 will miss work to recover from the injury, and about 10 to 20% will suffer temporary or permanent vision loss.
Prevent Blindness America marks March as Workplace Eye Wellness Month to draw attention to this issue and help prevent injuries.
Fortunately, 90 percent of all eye injuries can be prevented with proper eye protection. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration requires employers to provide their workers with proper eye protection; however, accidents do occur still.
Some of the most common causes of work eye injuries include:
- Flying debris
- Harmful radiation
The Houston eye doctors at Berkeley Eye Center strongly encourage workers to insist on proper eye protection, particularly workers in industrial workplaces, construction sites, refineries and any other profession where eye injuries are common. Machine guards, work screens and other engineering controls should also be utilized to minimize the risk to your eyes and extremities.
Digital Eye Injuries
Not all work eye injuries are accident related. Prolonged use of digital devices, such as computers, tablets and cell phones, can also be detrimental to your eyes. According to a report from The Vision Council, 80 percent of adults spend at least two hours a day on a digital device, and nearly 67 percent use two or more devices at one time.
Almost 60 percent of adults report symptoms of digital eye strain. Symptoms of digital eyestrain include:
- Dry eyes
- Irritated eyes
- Blurry vision
Office workers can take several easy steps in order to prevent the effects of digital eyestrain. Our Houston eye doctors recommend the following for those who spend hours working on a digital device every day:
- Make sure your screen is 20-26 inches away from you and a bit below eye level.
- Put a document holder next to your screen to avoid constantly changing eye focus.
- Make your digital device’s text larger to make for more comfortable reading.
- Adjust the lighting around your workstation to reduce glare and harsh reflections.
- Follow the 20-20-20 break plan: Take a 20-second break every 20 minutes and look at something 20 feet away.
- Don’t forget to schedule a comprehensive, dilated eye exam every year with a Houston eye doctor at Berkeley Eye Center.
During Workplace Eye Wellness Month, Berkeley Eye Center urges employers to re-evaluate the safety precautions in place to protect their workers. For workers who suffer an eye injury, it’s important to contact us immediately to schedule an exam.