March Declared as Workplace Eye Wellness Month

Columbus, Ohio (Feb. 28, 2019) – No matter the occupation, eye protection plays an important role in keeping eyes and vision healthy. From jobs that require extended use of computers and device screens, to those in construction or manufacturing where exposure to liquids, particles, or flying debris is a concern, taking care of the eyes should be a priority.

According to The Vision Council, about 80 percent of American adults report using digital devices for more than two hours per day, with nearly 67 percent using two or more devices simultaneously. Almost 60 percent report experiencing symptoms of digital eye strain. Symptoms may include dry and irritated eyes, headache, and blurred vision.

Prevent Blindness has declared March as Workplace Eye Wellness Month, and recommends talking with an eye care professional about ways to help minimize eye strain. These tips may help make your workplace more comfortable:

.Place your screen 20 to 26 inches away from your eyes and a little bit below eye level.

.Use a document holder placed next to your screen. It should be close enough so you don’t have to swing your head back and forth or constantly change your eye focus.

.Change your lighting to lower glare and harsh reflections. Glare filters over your digital screens can also help.

.Get a chair you can adjust.

.Choose screens that can tilt and swivel. A keyboard that you can adjust is also helpful.

.Computer glasses with yellow-tinted lenses that block blue light can help ease digital eye strain by increasing contrast.

.Anti-reflective lenses reduce glare and increase contrast and also block blue light from digital devices.

There is some concern over the long-term effects of screen exposure because of the close proximity of the screens and the length of time spent looking at them. More information may be found at https://www.preventblindness.org/blue-light-and-your-eyes.

For those who work in industrial settings, the type of safety eye protection worn depends on the potential hazards in the workplace. For workers who may be exposed to particles, flying objects, or dust, safety glasses with side protection (side shields) should be worn. Goggles should always be worn when working with chemicals. For those working near hazardous radiation (welding, lasers, or fiber optics) special-purpose safety glasses, goggles, face shields, or helmets must be worn that are designed for that task. Additional informational resources may be found at https://www.preventblindness.org/eye-safety-work.

“Having healthy eyes and vision contributes to our ability to work and remain independent,” said Sherry Williams, President and CEO of the Ohio Affiliate of Prevent Blindness. “We urge everyone to contact an eyecare professional on the best ways to keep eyes healthy, and work with their employer to make sure their work environment is free of hazards.”

The Prevent Blindness Committee of the Ohio Safety Congress will be presenting a series of eye health and safety educational workshops on March 6 at its annual conference at the Columbus Convention Center. More than 8,000 representatives from Ohio businesses and government are expected to attend the Safety Congress which is the largest and longest-running regional occupational safety, health and workers’ compensation event in the United States.

To find out more about workplace eye health topics, please contact Prevent Blindness at (800) 301-2020 or visit www.pbohio.org.