Welcome to March, Workplace Eye Wellness Month. Each day, more than 2,000 Americans suffer an eye injury, about a third of which require an emergency room visit and 10-20 percent of which cause permanent vision loss.
According to PreventBlindness.org, 90 percent of eye injuries could be prevented, or reduced in severity, with proper eye protection.
Most eye injuries involve foreign particles entering the eye – metal, glass or wood shavings, construction debris, etc. But physical, outdoor job sites are not the source of most eye problems.
Three out of four computer users suffer vision issues from office work, says Dr. Bill Hasquet of Montana Eyecare. Eye strain is much more prevalent than eye injuries.
Here are 10 steps you can take to keep your eyes happy and providing you with many wonderful sights:
1. Wear protective eyewear. It’s estimated that roughly half of workplace eye injuries could be completely prevented by wearing goggles, helmets, face shields, or just safety glasses. In many cases, the law requires that workers in these situations wear protective eye wear, but the rules are ignored.
2. Employ the 20/20/20 rule for computer use. For every 20 minutes spent staring at a computer, spend 20 seconds focusing on an object 20 feet away. This will refocus your eyes and limit eye strain.
3. Check the ergonomics of your work station. Eye strain is often the result of a work station in which the computer screen and the user’s eyes are not properly aligned. That can create glare and squinting.
4. Reduce lighting around the computer. The proper ambient lighting around a computer is about half of what is generally found in offices. Harsh sunlight or overhead lighting can cause eye strain.
5. Adjust your screen. Your screen should be at a right angle to any strong light source so the light is minimized. Alternatively, invest in an anti-glare screen for your monitor.
6. Blink often and use artificial tears. We sometimes fail to blink when concentrating on a computer screen. Blinking is the body’s way of ensuring that the eyes are well-lubricated. Eye doctors recommend we make sure we’re blinking every 2-4 seconds. Yes, that’s up to 30 times a minute. If you can’t remember to blink, over-the-counter eye drops can help keep eyes healthy and comfortable.
7. Hydrate from the inside out. Drinking plenty of water helps keep the eyes moist. That’s particularly important during the winter, when heaters dry the air – and our eyes.
8. Take frequent breaks. The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health recommends office workers take a series of five-minute breaks throughout the work day, not only for the eyes, but also to minimize back and neck strain.
9. Consider computer glasses. Lightly-tinted computer eyewear can filter out the harsh blue light that emanates from computers. Computer glasses are especially helpful to those with contact lenses, for whom dry eyes is an issue even before computers are factored in. Montana Eyecare offers an array of specialized computer lenses to fit your visual needs.
10. See your eye doctor regularly. The best way to protect your vision is with an annual eye checkup with your optometrist. At Montana Eyecare, an eye exam is brief and painless.
Don’t take chances with your vision. Call Montana Eyecare today at (406) 443-2121 to set up an appointment for a comprehensive exam. Visit montanaeyecare.com for more information.
550 North Montana Avenue
Helena, MT 59601
Montana Eye Care
At Montana Eyecare, our professional eye care staff will be happy to assist you with your vision needs. We have treatment options available for everyone. Whether you are interested in making an appointment for a LASIK consultation, have cataracts, need an annual eye exam, or just need glasses, we can help!
The doctors and staff of Montana EyeCare are dedicated healthcare professionals committed to providing excellence of quality and service to each of our patients. At Montana Eyecare you will find a caring team of professionals dedicated to providing high quality personalized eye care for the whole family. We value our patient relationships and strive to improve your quality of life and vision wellness through uncompromised service and state-of-the-art technology. Dr. Bill Simons, Dr. Bill Hasquet, Dr. Marcus Kelley, Dr. Rob Simons and their staff are a close-working team dedicated to meeting the vision care needs of the people of Helena. We invite you to refer your friends and family to our comprehensive website and our practice. If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office at (406) 443-2121.
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