March is workplace eye safety month. Over 2,000 people every day suffer an eye injury at work. One-third of these injuries are serious enough to be treated in the emergency room. In work-related eye injuries, 10-20 percent cause permanent vision loss. Eye injuries have resulted in more than $300 million in lost work time, medical expenses, and worker’s compensation.
Safety glasses are the best way for people to protect their eyes while working. Prevent Blindness America estimates that 90% of workplace eye injuries could have been avoided by wearing safety eyewear. The Bureau of Labor Statistics survey suggests that nearly 3 out of 5 people who suffered an eye injury were not wearing proper safety eyewear. Field workers and anyone else walking through a job site should be wearing proper safety glasses.
Many eye injuries occur in the field, however working in an office can be just as harmful to your vision. Patients reported eye problems 14 percent of the time due to working on a computer. Over the course of the work day your eyes could be subject to eye strain and dry eye. Here are some tips to protect your eyes while working on a computer:
- Make sure to take breaks from staring at your computer screen regularly. Many eye doctors recommend the 20/20/20 Rule: take a 20-second break, every 20
minutes to look at something 20 feet away.
- To prevent dry eye remember to blink, drink water and use artificial tears to keep your eyes comfortable.
- Schedule regular eye exams. These will help monitor your eye health and they may even prescribe special glasses for you to wear while working on the computer.
Prevent Blindness America anticipates vision impairment to double over the next 3 decades. You can take these steps today to make sure your eyes are healthy and remain that way. The correct eye protection can be the difference between healthy eyes and vision impairment or vision loss.