You might already be aware of work-related health conditions such as repetitive strain injury and work-related stress; however, did you know that your eyes can also quickly become affected by work-related health conditions? Whether you use your eyes to read long documents online or to focus on a tricky piece of welding, they are perhaps your primary tool in the workplace, and any vision problems that are not addressed can have a hugely detrimental effect on your life. To help you to protect your precious sight, read on to discover a guide to eye care at work.
Wear safety eyewear if required
Certain jobs may bring you into regular contact with hazardous and irritant materials and chemicals. For instance, in an industrial workshop environment you are likely to be exposed to dust, debris, and sparks from tools on a daily basis. If such materials get into your eyes, they could cause serious eye problems and perhaps even irreparable sight damage. To prevent these irritants from getting into your eyes, wear the safety eyewear recommended for the particular job you are doing. Safety eyewear is even available with prescription lenses, eliminating the need to awkwardly balance safety goggles over your glasses.
Get regular eye tests
You should get an eye test at least every year, even if you don’t feel that you have any problems with your vision. Some eye conditions are slow to develop and painless, and as such an optician will be able to diagnose and treat any problems early on. For instance, though cataracts are most commonly associated with people over the age of 65, there are other risk factors that could increase your chances of developing the condition earlier, such as the long-term exposure of your eyes to UV light. Cataracts result in visual impairment that can seriously affect your ability to carry out regular tasks, such as driving or reading. Prescription glasses can help at first, but fully developed cataracts will have to be removed in a simple procedure to replace the clouded lens with a clear, artificial one, such as the PanOptix trifocal lens. This is a very common procedure that returns sight to a lot of people.
Practice eye care when using screens
From cell phones to laptops, tablets to the TV, most people spend a large proportion of their day looking at screens. However, looking at a monitor for too long can strain your eyes, causing headaches, blurred vision, and an increased sensitivity to light. Make sure you regularly rest your eyes by looking away from your screen and focusing on something further away – looking out of the window is perfect. Focusing on distant objects relaxes the focusing muscle, which helps to reduce eye fatigue.
You should also use adequate lighting, as eye strain is often caused by straining to see a screen through the glare of bright sunlight or room lighting. To reduce glare, close the curtains and use floor lamps instead.