Eye care at work

| 02/05/2011

(LIONS): Taking care of your eyes at work should be a priority. The risks can vary depending on what type of work you are involved in. Considering the amount of hours spent on computers at work, it is not surprising that research shows a rise in visual problems. These problems can include fatigue, red eyes, eye strain, pain in and around the eyes, blurred vision, dry eyes, headaches, and occasional double vision. It is important to find out how you can protect your eyes. Having eye exams and some minor changes can help you achieve this.

Blinking- Computer users tend to not blink enough causing dry irritated eyes. Users should concentrate on blinking more often. Artificial tears may help also.
Air flow and low humidity- these factors tend to aggravate dry eyes so pay attention to air vents, etc.
Position is key- Your screen should be an arm’s length away and the center about 4 to 8 inches below your eyes.
Lighting and Reflections- Room lighting should be diffuse in order to decrease glare and reflections. Anti-reflection screens and anti-reflective coatings on the lenses of your glasses can help also.
Computer displays- LCD displays tend to be better than CRT displays, however adjusting the CRT refresh rate (flicker) can help.
Computer glasses- many computer usersneed a pair of glasses to help alleviate symptoms.

If your eye problems persist you should seek professional eye care.

Industrial or Chemical Work

This line of work can present many hazards to the eye. Serious eye injuries can result from inadequate eye protection. The nature of the injury varies widely. Possible injuries include corneal abrasions, chemical burns, foreign bodies in the eye, cataracts and retinal detachments. Depending on the severity, blindness can be a result. However, majority of these injuries are preventable.

Wear appropiate eye protection- Depending on the job, particular eye protection should be used. For example, welders should have a welding mask or safety goggles should be used when hammering or sanding.
Wear proper eye protection- It is important the eye protection glasses/goggles follow industry standards. These glasses are available with or without prescription.
Handle chemicals with care- Manufacturer instructions should be read and followed. Eye protection can also help prevent chemical splash injuries.
Sun Protection- Some jobs require long hours outdoors. This increases exposure to the UV rays which are harmful to the eyes. Hats and UV coated lenses are necessary for protection.

If any of these injuries occur please seek professional eye care immediately. In the case of chemical splashes, it is imperative to irrigate the eye immediately before seeking care.

This article is one of a series regarding eye health in order to mark the Lions white Cane Week

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