March is Workplace Eye Wellness Month. Our eye doctors at Vista Eye Specialists want you to know your job-related eye risks, whether you work remotely on a computer or at a manufacturing facility. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), about 2,000 workers in the United States seek medical treatment for workplace eye injuries every year. One-third of these cases are treated in the ER, costing over $300 million in medical expenses, workers’ compensation benefits and lost wages.
Types of Workplace Eye Injuries and Concerns
When you think of a work-related eye injury, you’re probably picturing a construction worker or someone in manufacturing that harms their eye with a chemical or piece of equipment. However, computer vision syndrome or digital eye strain can also significantly impact your eye health.
Screen time without adequate breaks can lead to headaches, eye strain, dry eyes, inattentiveness and neck or back pain. Your eyes rely on blinking to lubricate and moisturize the eyes’ surfaces with healthy tears. The longer you look at your computer screen, the less you blink. Digital eye strain can also cause burning, itching or tired eyes and blurred vision.
If you experience computer vision syndrome, it can affect your productivity and quality of life. You can mitigate these issues using a few quick and easy tips, including:
- Follow the 20/20/20 rule for screen time, which means taking a break every 20 minutes for 20 seconds and looking 20 feet away.
- Set a reminder on your phone or computer — or use a post-It near the screen —to remind yourself to blink more often.
- Position your computer screen beneath eye level and at least 20 inches from your eyes.
- Use anti-glare filters or alter the lighting in your workspace to eliminate glare and reflections.
- Use computer glasses that block blue light and increase contrast to ease the stress on your eyes.
- Drink plenty of water and use artificial tears to reduce dry eyes.
- Schedule regular comprehensive eye exams.
If your workplace involves chemicals or other environmental, mechanical or radiological hazards, OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) requires your employer to ensure ocular safety by protecting your eyes and face from these irritants. Goggles, face shields, safety glasses and welding helmets are a few examples of protective eyewear employers must provide in specific workplaces.
Schedule Your Eye Exam at Vista Eye Specialists
If you’re experiencing signs of computer vision syndrome or another job-related eye concern, contact our experienced eye doctors in Fredericksburg and Culpeper, Virginia. Schedule your comprehensive eye exam at Vista Eye Specialists today.