Keep Your Vision Sharp: Workplace Etiquette for your Eyes
While you work hard all day at your job, your eyes are working too. In fact, in today’s digital age your eyes are likely working overtime. According to the 2016 Nielsen Total Audience Report, the average American worker spends more than 10 hours in front of a screen daily – from computers and televisions to tablets and cell phones. Due to factors including the amount of blue light emitted from screens and lower contrast than printed text, it is more challenging for the eye to stay focused during digital device use and ultimately, causes them to fatigue faster. As screen time increases, so does eye strain and related side effects like headaches, tiredness and dry eye.
In honor of Workplace Eye Wellness Month, MyEyeDr. is sharing strategies to avoid complications associated with digital eye strain:
- Wear your latest prescription. If you have prescribed vision correction, it is important to wear your prescription and follow recommendations provided by your optometrist. Visit your optometrist every year to ensure your prescription is up to date. If you’re one of the many Americans who use digital devices every day, consider lenses designed to reduce the impact of looking at screens for long periods of time by moderating the effects of glare and increasing contrast. Consider a pair of computer glasses to leave at work, guaranteeing you always have a pair on hand.
- Arrange your desk with your eyes in mind. Optimize your work environment to reduce harmful effects to your vision. Increase the text size on your digital device and adjust contrast to make content more readable. Position your computer display so that the top of the screen is at or slightly below eye level to decrease tension in the neck and back, and make sure it is at least an arm’s length away. If you find yourself tipping your head back to read the screen, computer glasses might be for you
- Make the 20-20-20 rule a habit. Dry, tired eyes? You aren’t alone. According to The Vision Council, roughly 65 percent of Americans suffer from digital eye strain. Sustained digital device usage can wear eyes out and impact performance. As a rule of thumb, use the 20-20-20 rule – every 20 minutes, look 20 feet away, for at least 20 seconds. This refocuses eyes and allows blinking to return to a normal rate.
- Schedule an annual eye exam. Having a routine comprehensive eye exam is the most important thing you can do to prevent or treat computer vision problems. Studies show that continued exposure to blue light over time could lead to damaged retinal cells, which in turn can cause vision problems like age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Consult your local optometrist and schedule an annual eye exam to detect any vision issues early and ensure digital device usage does not impact your work performance.
“Increased usage of digital devices in both our personal and professional lives can cause our eyes to work harder, which translates to the dry, strained eyes we see in many of our patients,” said Dr. Artis Beatty, chief medical officer at MyEyeDr. “At MyEyeDr., we want to educate patients so they are aware of the steps they can take to alleviate the short-term issues and long-term risks associated with digital device usage.”
While digital eye health is a top concern for those using digital devices daily, other job activities pose additional eye-related risks. Employees may be exposed to elements that could physically harm the eyes, either with particles of dust, bits of metal and glass, chemicals, or flying objects. Ensure employees engaged in those type of work environments are wearing required eye protection, whether that means glasses with side protection, goggles, or special lenses. Remember that vision corrective lenses can be made into safety goggles as well.
As technology continues to evolve, employees can become more educated on ways to keep their eyes healthy. Schedule your annual eye exam with MyEyeDr. today, and our trusted optometrists will help advise on any issues associated with damaging workplace conditions.
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